If you haven't done so already, this will be a big weekend for putting up decorations, lights and Christmas trees all over South Jersey.

Here we go again. It's the biggest question surrounding the Christmas holiday - real or fake? Each holiday season my wife and I go through the same tree dilemma, and this Christmas our decision will be a absolute no-brainer!

Last Christmas we bought a heavily discounted artificial tree after the holiday. I think it was something like 400% off. Okay, maybe the discount wasn't THAT big, but it was close.

My wife and I were so disappointed with the tree after putting it together that the decision was made to banish the fake tree to the basement and to the garage for good after Christmas. This year, like last year, we'll be out searching for that perfect real live Christmas tree.

I have to admit a real tree looks and smells so much better then a fake one. I noticed that pine smell spreading through the house as soon as we put it up!

My two boys, who are no fans of artificial trees, will be happy to come home to a real tree this Christmas. Of course, they're conveniently doing other things when the time comes to take down the real tree and clean up all the needles.

Here are some pros and cons on real vs. artificial from the website Money Crashers.com .

The Real Deal

Pros:

  1. Buying a real tree helps support local farmers.
  2. Trees can be mulched at the end of the season for environmental purposes, they are also used to replenish sand dunes on beaches and to reinforce coastal wetlands.
  3. The search for the perfect Christmas tree can be fun for the whole family
  4. Plus, you get real Christmas tree smell!

Cons:

  1. Cleaning up all the pine needles
  2. Some people can be allergic to real trees.
  3. They can be a fire hazard

The Artificial Alternative

Pros:

  1. They're less work during a bust time of the year
  2. They're could be less expensive.
  3. Reusable year after year.
  4. Most come pre-lit with Christmas lights.
  5. No clean up when taking down at the end of the season.

Cons:  

  1. Fake trees are made from the plastic polyvinyl chloride, the tree will emit dioxin in the case of a fire.
  2. Plastic trees can't be recycled and will probably end up in a landfill.
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