OT: Xmas : real or fake?

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TerryBoyz

Get four fruits!
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We currently go every year to Stew Lenards.. but wifey keeps asking about a fake one.
Doesn’t seem right but the process is getting kinda old..
Anyone convert lately... regrets?
 

HuskyHawk

Hoping to see something that looks like basketball
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Both. We have two trees. The nicer fake trees are so much better than they used to be. They are something of a pain to store, and I‘d advise against pre-lighted trees. Those strands go out and you will need to cut them off the tree. That’s what happened to us.
 
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We have a real one. But we also have a fake one with all UConn ornaments and even a UConn tree topper (that took years to find). The tree comes down when the season ends. 4 times it came down real late. It is pretty much maxed out on ornaments as every time we see a UConn ornament we don't have we buy it. Maybe it's time for a taller tree.
 
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Both. Real one cut down from the same tree farm for 20+ years. Fake one in the family room.
 

Rico444

Strive for Five
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I can't imagine getting a fake tree until the kids are out of the house. Considering we only have a two year old, that's a long way away. It's a hassle getting the tree, dealing with the pine needles and all of that, but the smell is something I would miss if we got a fake tree.
 

fleudslipcon

We are UConn!! 4>>>1
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Fake tree but real news.

Seven foot Norwegian Spruce. Same tree for twenty plus years.

More important than the choice of tree is the tradition you create around the experience. If you’re not looking forward to what you do try something different.
 
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I used to be no way on the fake tree. They are so fake looking! Then I had an bad injury in 2015 that made getting the real tree in and out of the house just about a nightmare (I was ready to leave it stuck in the front door).

2016 I did a ton of research and found Balsam Hill. Online and in their catalogue, their trees LOOKED pretty good. They are really expensive but they have sales, sometimes 40-50% off. So I pulled the trigger and got a 6’ Douglas fir with LED lights.

At first I was mad because it didn’t look real at all. But that’s because you have to fluff the boughs the way you want them and allow them to settle. Once that happens, it really looks very real. You also don’t have the issue you have with real trees where it looks full but then you get it home and there’s a big hole in one place.

I also feel like it’s more sustainable. I’m not taking a tree for a set period of time and then throwing it out, even if the tree is recycled. The LED lights are also more efficient than those you typically find (although you can buy those now, but they’re so expensive).

It’s also now one less thing I’m spending money on at Christmas. I spent it in 2016 and it’s guaranteed for X years (the lights). Live trees around here are pricey so it’s going to have paid for itself in 5 years.

Finally, the worst part of putting up/taking down a tree is putting up the lights. Getting one with lights on it makes it so much more pleasant and you get right to the fun part. It also comes with its own stand so you don’t need to deal with that nonsense or making sure the tree has enough water.
 
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I can't imagine getting a fake tree until the kids are out of the house. Considering we only have a two year old, that's a long way away. It's a hassle getting the tree, dealing with the pine needles and all of that, but the smell is something I would miss if we got a fake tree.
I thought that. I haven’t missed it once. You could always just get some boughs... much easier. Or a wreath.
 
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Both. We have two trees. The nicer fake trees are so much better than they used to be. They are something of a pain to store, and I‘d advise against pre-lighted trees. Those strands go out and you will need to cut them off the tree. That’s what happened to us.
I haven’t had that happen yet. Where I bought from has a guarantee for their lights and they’re LED lights. Hopefully it’s not cut it out and we send you a new strand... it sounded more sophisticated than THAT. I love not fussing with lights, though.
The storage is annoying. Luckily I have a garage and a basement. I use the garage because I don’t feel like lugging it downstairs and I never park in the garage.
 

huskeynut

Leader of the Band
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We did the rel tree thing until 2011. The tree was easy to get into the family room but I had to cut it up to get it out. We got a "fake" tree that was pre-lit. Worked out fine. Sold it when we moved to Florida.

Bought a Balsam Hill in fall of 2016. No problems at all.
 
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We have 1 real tree (fraser fir, NC Mountains) and 3 fake trees. My wife and kids love Christmas. Thinking about not doing a real tree next year.
 

jleves

Awesomeness
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Aug 27, 2011
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I used to be no way on the fake tree. They are so fake looking! Then I had an bad injury in 2015 that made getting the real tree in and out of the house just about a nightmare (I was ready to leave it stuck in the front door).

2016 I did a ton of research and found Balsam Hill. Online and in their catalogue, their trees LOOKED pretty good. They are really expensive but they have sales, sometimes 40-50% off. So I pulled the trigger and got a 6’ Douglas fir with LED lights.

At first I was mad because it didn’t look real at all. But that’s because you have to fluff the boughs the way you want them and allow them to settle. Once that happens, it really looks very real. You also don’t have the issue you have with real trees where it looks full but then you get it home and there’s a big hole in one place.

I also feel like it’s more sustainable. I’m not taking a tree for a set period of time and then throwing it out, even if the tree is recycled. The LED lights are also more efficient than those you typically find (although you can buy those now, but they’re so expensive).

It’s also now one less thing I’m spending money on at Christmas. I spent it in 2016 and it’s guaranteed for X years (the lights). Live trees around here are pricey so it’s going to have paid for itself in 5 years.

Finally, the worst part of putting up/taking down a tree is putting up the lights. Getting one with lights on it makes it so much more pleasant and you get right to the fun part. It also comes with its own stand so you don’t need to deal with that nonsense or making sure the tree has enough water.
^This
I was adamant for years about a real tree. As @fleudslipcon said, when getting a real tree becomes a chore, it's time to change things up.

The fake ones look better than real trees these days. They are completely consistent, full and beautiful. It takes minutes to get them setup and ready to decorate and taking them down is so much cleaner and easier. No checking the water is a huge plus and probably the two most important things for me, 1) not having a fire bomb ready to go off in my living room and 2) not dragging a perfectly good tree to the curb for my 2 or 3 weeks of enjoyment.

And one final bonus, cost. I live in Southern California. Getting a quality 8 foot real tree would cost me over $200/year. A high quality artificial tree on sale has been paid for in about 3 years.

If you need the correct smell, the local auto shop has pine scented hangers you can hide deep in the tree. (no, I do not actually do that.)
 
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The fake ones look better than real trees these days. They are completely consistent, full and beautiful.
To me, nothing is more off puting then an completely symetrical, consistent tree. I think that the varying spaces and shapes occuring in a natural, unpruned tree are way more interesting to look at.
 

CL82

Beautiful day in Storrs
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Like many we have two. A real one in the family room and a fake one in the living room. I have great memories of going and getting a tree with my dad on cold winter days and getting a mug of hot cider from a huge cast iron pot simmering over a open fire. (I also remember hiking into the woods to a stand of Mountain Laurel, taking some branches back and weaving them into garlands for the front door. Yes, I am old.) I enjoyed going when my kids were young, again really good memories. But I think that I may finally be ready to get a decent fake one for the family room and may get rid of the 'heirloom' fake one in the living room. I'll probably get one more this year and then buy after Christmas.
 
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dennismenace

ONE MORE CAST
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We had real ones until the kids grew up and then started with fake. We have a number of them in different sizes as my wife decorates all over the house. Most were acquired at yard or estate sales where she is looking for this type of stuff which is practically given away during the spring or summer. She also picks up a number of german made ornaments which run for $15 and up when it is an estate sale and the sellers are not aware of the value. She likes to keep a lot of stuff up until Mar. 1 to keep her spirits up during the winter. We're not big winter fans so between the christmas stuff and Uconn bb we can have a great winter despite the cold and snow.
 
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Have a puppy this year - first time ever with no tree at all. He will destroy it and everything around it. :/
 

Dream Jobbed 2.0

“Most definitely”
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When you think about the economics of buying a real tree @ $50 year after year after year vs a $100 tree forever it really makes you think
 

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