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REAL CHRISTMAS TREES
The neighborhood Christmas tree lot and its newly cut pines may soon be a rare sight if a new national study is correct about the artificial competition's rising popularity. A decline of 36 percent was reported for real tree sales - according to the National Christmas Tree Association, sales dropped from 32 million to 23.4 million between 2000 and 2003.Nine million artificial Christmas trees were sold in 2004 according to the Association, up from 7.3 million in 2001. On average, an artificial tree lasts about six years. A fake tree on the Internet runs anywhere from $100 to $1500, a real tree at Home Depot costs from $25 to $50. For many families, cutting down a Christmas tree is an annual tradition. A real tree also adds something to Christmas that a fake tree can't: a scent.
Putting up and decorating Christmas trees is a time-honored tradition, and many families are faced with choosing between artificial and real trees each year. Here are a few things to remember when choosing which type of tree would be best suited for your needs:
Artificial Christmas trees can be set up much earlier and left up longer. Buying artificial helps prevent the cutting down of a live tree. Artificial trees are safe and flame retardant. Coarse needles will never prick you; so artificial trees are easier to decorate. The needles on your artificial tree will never shed. Artificial trees have a fuller, classier look. They also last for years, which makes them more economical.Do you really need a real tree to decorate your living room? Is it right to cut down a living tree just because it looks and smells better?
There are a variety of arguments for and against buying a live or an artificial Christmas tree. Indeed, there are good and bad things about each type of tree. Here are the pros and cons of each:
The First Christmas Trees
Fast forward to the twenty-first century, when you can order any type of artificial tree you want, in a huge variety of genus and species. Even better, you can get an artificial unlit Christmas tree, a flocked tree, a specialty tree, a commercial tree, and garlands and wreaths to match.
Seventy percent of Americans have an artificial Christmas tree, although many still argue that they look too fake or too plastic. The first artificial Christmas trees were tabletop models made from green-dyed goose feathers. The modern version of the artificial Christmas tree started to appear by the 1940s and 1950s. Choose a tree with a high branch tip count to find the most realistic looking tree possible.
An Emerging Custom
People continue to fight with the real/fake tree problem, and it has only become harder recently as artificial trees have progressively improved. The new trees come in easy-to-assemble pieces complete with lights already in place, a far cry from older artificial trees that required a road map to determine the placement of the branches. Some decorate with small trees, even a foot tall, all over the house. And retro styles such as the aluminium tree with the spinning color wheel (popular in the 1950s and 1960s) are making a comeback.
Wreaths have long been a staple of Christmas decorating. The custom of using wreaths as Christmas decorations dates to 16th century Germany, where Lutherans created the Advent wreath. While traditional Advent wreaths can still be found, they're less fashionable in today's more secular world. Evergreen wreaths rank among the more popular styles. Wreaths can be hung throughout the house, but most people hang theirs on the front door.
Instead of complaining about pine needles falling, I suggest they get swept up and used in the garden, they are supposed to have excellent fertilizing properties.
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