When it comes to purchasing a Christmas tree, I’ve always been a traditionalist. I love the ritual of picking out the tree at a farm and cutting it down myself. I love the smell of the pine needles permeating throughout the house as I go about decorating the tree and the rest of our home.  Granted, it’s not easy, but once the tree is in my home, there’s nothing like that wonderfully happy feeling that transports me back to those wonderful days when I was a kid.

As I got older, however, many of my friends told me that they preferred artificial trees to the live ones. This confused me because I couldn’t imagine anyone not enjoying a real tree. That got me thinking, so I did some research on the pros and cons of artificial trees.

It turns out that there are a few benefits to having an artificial tree.

After reading the info on some informative sites, the truth is basically they’re all comparable. It just depends on a person’s preference and whether they have allergies.

This may sound strange, but I’ve actually never consider the allergy bit. I suppose if you don’t suffer from a condition you don’t really think of how it affects you.

I never thought I’d ever get an artificial tree until my daughter was born. She was so miserable during her first Christmas that we had to get rid of the live tree. Thankfully, we figured out it was the tree causing her sneezes and irritated skin and eyes.

If you’ve ever had to deal with this sort of thing with your child, you know the anxiety and helplessness that we felt. Add lack of sleep and the stress of the holidays, and you’ve got the perfect storm.

It took a few days for the effects of the live tree to dissipate, which gave me time to order a surprisingly realistic looking artificial tree with lots of lights. I figured if I was going to have the same tree for the next few years, I should get the tree I truly loved.

Can I confess something?

I didn’t just buy one tree. I bought the main tree plus some small trees to put inside various rooms of the house. The smallest one ended up doubling as a night light for my daughter’s room.

I also bought another tree for the patio. It didn’t have any leaves on it, but the lights were waterproof, which impressed me. This would come in handy for the times I entertained my friends.

I have to admit that the artificial tree we bought to replace the live one didn’t impress me at first. It wasn’t until I realized that I didn’t have to spend my time sweeping up the dropped pine needles every day or make sure to refill the water that I truly began to appreciate the new tree.

Another perk came in the form of the lights. Before, we had to string the lights around the tree carefully, making sure it was evenly spaced, but there were already lights on the artificial one, so that saved me time and frustration.

The final benefit was that the entire family could decorate the artificial tree together. The branches were firm, but not scratchy, so the kids enjoyed putting the ornaments on the tree. Of course, they clumped a bunch of them together, but we just laughed.

Later on, I realized that having a real or artificial tree didn’t matter very much to me anymore. I had always been interested in what it represented: making memories.

I would always have the memories of my live tree experiences, but I was also adding to the memories with the new tree that we got.

As for the kids, they didn’t care which tree we had either. That surprised me, although it probably shouldn’t have. Adults tend to forget how adaptable children are.

They were just as excited when we plugged in the artificial one. They gasped with delight when they saw all those lights twinkling, which always made me smile.

I was happy with our purchase. I knew that the artificial tree would provide us with years of joy and laughter. Isn’t that what Christmas is about anyway?