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Community : Top Stories Last Updated: Jan 8, 2014 - 8:44:50 AM

Holiday Traditions and Christmas Tree Survey Results
Dec 23, 2013 - 8:12:55 AM

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The argument for and against real and artificial trees
Our recent reader survey indicates that our readers overwhelming favor a real tree over an artificial tree. Here are some of the reasons why.
Favor Real:
One of the top reasons our readers like real trees is for the aroma of “fresh pine needles inundating the house.”  Indeed, “Nothing beats a real tree to smell like Christmas,” explained one reader.
And, strongly linked to aroma, is the memory of tradition and years of old, another strong factor as to why our readers like real trees.
Some real tree memories and traditions:
“Authenticity trumps fake almost all the time in just about anything in life.”
“To continue the family tradition of picking out that special tree together. Then coming home to decorate while listening to Christmas music, sipping eggnog and eating Christmas cookies.”
“Buying and putting up a real tree is a true holiday experience, complete with finding just the right one, decorating it (which presents its own challenges), and that smell you just can’t get from fake!”
“We love searching for and picking out the perfect tree on which we all have to agree before it comes home with us and the wonderful evergreen scent. A bonus is that the fallen needles help mask the cat and dog hair :)”
“It’s a tradition to purchase a tree the day after Thanksgiving, and we love the smell of a fresh tree in the house during the holidays. Every time I smell a scent of a Christmas tree, it reminds me of the holidays.”
“Because it’s real! Pine needles, the smell, trimming it and hauling it into the house. It’s the best!”
“I enjoy purchasing a Christmas tree coinciding with the beginning of advent.”
Favor fake:
Those who favor artificial trees over real trees offered up more practical reasons: fire prevention, allergies, cost, eliminating bug problems and ease.
Explained one reader, “(It) lasts longer for the money plus trees don’t get killed unnecessarily. And who wants to have sap stuck on their fingers or squirrels jumping out of their trees? The only thing I miss is the scent from the real thing. Fortunately Bath & Body Works has solved that problem for me!”
And, another reader explained, “There are so many faux trees that look like the real deal. Faux trees are economical in that they can be used for years. They don’t shed, are perfectly shaped, don’t need water and always look fresh. The scent of real fir trees fills the home from cuttings and candles.”
“Better for environment - save the pines!”
“Artificial trees are made now so that they last a long time. They are gentler on our planet, and we can put it up early without worrying about weather, pine needles, etc.”
“Same tree for 15 years. Still beautiful and easy to set up.”
“… The pre-lit tree has resolved our conflict over the responsibility and placement of the lights. Less stress = Merrier Christmas! :)”
“We travel over Christmas but still want to enjoy our tree on New Year’s Eve. A real tree won’t last without someone here to water it.”
a little something different:
Said one reader, “I have had real trees the last several years. They are all planted in my yard and doing very well. But this year, I am doing something different. I am going to paint a ‘Christmas Palm’ with Fear no Easel and place it on my fireplace mantel in lieu of a tree. From now on, this will be my main Christmas decoration. I have a few old decorations given to me by friends and family over the years and those will join the Palm on the mantel. Always good cheer”
Double Duty:
“We always had real growing up and now that is what feels right. I do have artificial trees in both of my children’s rooms for them to decorate with the decorations they make at school.”
“I used a real tree and a fake tree at Christmas. I use a fake tree for my large tree because I decorate right after Thanksgiving and leave it up until New Year’s and a real tree dies and turns brown. I feel like it is a fire hazard. I use a small real tree for my special Radko ornaments and take it down when it starts looking brown.”

Our readers share some holiday traditions!
Six year old Fritz Rittel sends his Christmas list to the North Pole. Tom from Qwik Pack & Ship put a special stamp to ensure its delivery. The Rittel family says, “We appreciate the service we also get from Tom and Qwik Pack & Ship throughout the year. One of the nice perks of living on Daniel Island.”
Susanne Dandridge shares her cardboard Christmas Trees!
Ellery and Alden Baugh take part in the family tradition of building gingerbread houses.
Ted explained, “This 65 year old Nativity Scene, given to me by my Great Aunt when I was born, came from Woolworths in Philadelphia, PA. The Price was 25¢ (still on the box!). This has been on my tree every year for 65 years, and I hope a few more!”
Pat and Tom Richards support Rotary with their Duck Race ornament tree! They set up this tree on their back porch the year Pat was President of Rotary and they hosted the annual Rotary Christmas party. Of course, its only ornaments were rubber ducks!

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