PRO: Live trees are a tradition of Christmas
By WILLOW PINKERTON,
Evergreen trees have been a symbol of new life, peace and prosperity even before the traditional Christian holiday. The custom of bringing a live tree indoors to add to the Christmas celebrations first originated in Germany in the15th century and then gained popularity elsewhere.
The production of artificial Christmas trees began in the 1920s with feathered branches. Since, there have been several different re-creations. Between 2001 and 2007, fake tree sales rose from 7.3 million to 17.4 million, according to Sharon Caskey Hayes in a discussion on timesnews.net.
For as long as I can remember, the first or second week in December, my family and I have gone to a tree farm, walked through the rows of unique varieties to find the perfect one, and then dragged it into our living room. We adorn the tree with inherited ornaments, glass icicles, tinsel and strings of colored lights. A living tree is all I have ever known and to have that tradition replaced by an artificial model would be unbearable.
Not only are live trees a tradition, but they also are much more environmentally kind than the current artificial trees, which are made from polyvinyl chloride, a petroleum-derived toxic plastic. In some cases, the materials used to make fake Christmas trees can cause lead poisoning and other health concerns. One could argue that buying a fake tree is far more convenient because they can be used year after year. However, I believe that investing in a real, living, fir tree is beneficial to farmers, as well as families who choose to care for them. They’re beautiful, completely recyclable and biodegradable, or can be made into mulch. Best of all, they smell deeply of living Christmas spirit.
CON: Artificial trees have benefits
By OLIVIA PURTELL,
West York Area High School
When my parents decided to get a fake Christmas tree last December, I was devastated. The tree has always been one of my favorite parts of Christmas, and I wasn’t convinced that a plastic one could replace the feel of a real tree inside the house.
I’d like to think I have pretty high standards, and the fake tree met almost every single one.
Decorating the tree was exactly the same. In fact, fake trees in our case at least proved a little bit better. There was no challenge of finding a thick enough branch to hold an ornament, and we didn’t have to worry about breaking any ornaments, if they fell off.
Another fear I had about the fake tree was losing the scent of pine that comes from a real tree. While a fake tree certainly doesn’t give off the same aroma, there are ways around it, such as scented candles.
The thing that really sold me on the fake tree was the practicality of it. I really do not enjoy sweeping up pine needles, and I doubt I’m alone. There is no mess, no standing out in the cold choosing a tree, and best of all, you can use it year after year. If your family travels over the holidays, you don’t have to worry about leaving the tree and coming back to find it a shriveled twig.
When Christmas comes to an end, I can almost miss having a real tree. But with all the benefits of a fake one, I can’t quite wish to go back.