A Christmas tree tradition dilemma. My happy solution.

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

This year may very well be our last Christmas as a family for a while. “Empty nesters soon’. Hubby and kids want a real Christmas tree this year. Seems like I should just say yes right? But my heart isn’t in it. 😔 — On a happy note, I have found Christmas tree alternatives 🥰 . Keep reading. (Edit December 2020 -- Covid-19 has changed things. Our kids are still at home with us. )

Left - is a photo of our Christmas tree alternative taken in 2018

My internal dilemma:

😬 Fair warning…you may want to skip and go to “Pros of a real tree”.

Cutting down a tree so I can watch it slowly die in my living room makes my heart hurt😭. (morbid I know.. that’s how I feel though). This is a thought I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone (until now) because I know that some will take offense, which is not my intention. I also know that some of you are judging me right now and that’s to be expected. But let’s keep going.

Pros of a real tree:

Many cities will turn your Christmas tree into mulch for the public parks. Nowadays, Christmas trees are grown on “farms” for the specific purpose of becoming a Christmas tree. Some companies in some cities will actually deliver the tree to your home, and pick-it up after Christmas to replant it at their “farm”. (Isn’t this stressful on the tree though?)

Buying a fake isn’t my thing anymore either. So big to store, so much plastic that will eventually end up in the dumpster, and is mostly only used during the holidays. Some say it is better to buy a fake tree and re-use it until it is so worn down that it has to be thrown away. But still, how many decade old trees end up in the trash? Think about how many homes around the world that have one, if not three Christmas trees in their home.

History of Christmas Trees:

We know how comforting and calming it is to have a tree in our living room. The pretty lights, the ornaments that have meaning, and the smell of pine (if a real tree) is soothing to the heart and soul. But why do we have a huge tree in our home? Where did this tradition come from?

History.com says: “The history of Christmas trees goes back to the symbolic use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome and continues with the German tradition of candlelit Christmas trees first brought to America in the 1800s. (…) Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.” (read more by clicking on this link)

Christmas tree alternatives:

  1. Upholstered tree: Make a tree out of plywood and fabric. (template)

  2. Copper and wood tree: Pretty and modern. Here’s how.

  3. Christmas village tree: Used as a shelf during the rest of the year. DIY

  4. Wooden pallet tree: So many options. Here’s a look at a few ideas.

  5. Christmas tree ladder: Some use a metal ladder. I think a wooden ladder would be nicer. Here is a youtube clip on a very simple option.

I really wanted to make a wooden pallet tree, but hubby and kids weren’t too keen on it. So I settled for a “winter” artificial tree with LED lights that can stay out all winter as a “winter” season decorations…. we remove the star from the top of the taller tree.

Changing Traditions.

No matter if you are using a real Christmas tree, a fake Christmas tree or Christmas tree alternative… The one thing we can all agree on is that Christmas trees are magical.

What are your family traditions around a Christmas tree? Whether it is indoors or outdoors, I would love to know about it.

Yours in health ~ Nancy Shimmy