Real Christmas Trees Help End a Bad Year With Good Memories
The year 2020 got us stuck off the realness in some of the best and worst possible ways. With the holiday season just around the corner, we are all yearning to wrap up the year with goodness all around. An amazing way to “keep it real” is by incorporating a real Christmas tree in your family traditions and annual festivities.
Real Christmas trees are special; they create memorable experiences and they literally smell like Christmas. In a recent survey of more than 2,000 adults in the U.S., a majority of respondents (72%) said it’s important to purposefully create good memories. Physically, people want to make their home a more pleasant place (84%) and emotionally, they want to make this Christmas more memorable (82%) and make it the best Christmas for their kids (78%).1
A real Christmas tree provides many opportunities for memorable experiences and generational memories for the whole family. Real Christmas trees are grown to be harvested sustainably, just like pumpkins for Halloween or salad ingredients for dinner. When you take a harvested tree home, at least one new tree is planted in its place. You can also include planting a new tree (or two!) as a family tradition every year! Not only are real Christmas trees biodegradable and can be recycled or reused for mulch, but they also have three times less of an adverse impact on climate change and resource depletion.2
Get into the Holiday Spirit by Keepin’ It Real!
Since we became a family, Christmas has been our favorite holiday! One of our annual highlights is picking out our Christmas trees, which we usually do the weekend after Thanksgiving. We love real trees as much for the experience of selecting just the right one, as we do for having a live tree with that amazing Christmas tree scent in our home. Our tradition is to buy our trees from our local lot in San Francisco.
We always choose two trees, one for our living room and a small tree for our playroom. Our sons, ages 6 and 3, participate in choosing our big tree, and they have full decision-making authority on the small tree selection. This is a privilege and a responsibility they don’t take lightly!
One of our most memorable tree selections was a few years ago when it started pouring down rain while we were choosing our tree. It didn’t dampen the spirits of the amazing volunteers who, just as cheerily as ever, hoisted our trees up to the roof of our car, tied them securely in place, and wished us a Merry Christmas as we drove off that rainy, dark night. It is such a wonderful experience to buy our trees at our local lot, we love the folks there, they’re generous, kind, and strong!
Cross-Generational Family Tradition
Papa’s farm in New Hampshire is magical, even I become a kid again; picking fruit off of the trees, chasing the guinea hens, or enjoying the peace and quiet. Papa’s farm at Christmas – well that is love times 3000!
When our kids were 5 and 6 years old, we drove to New Hampshire from Virginia, where we were living at the time, to allow them to experience a New England Christmas. This was going to be the first year that Papa was going to be by himself, and we weren’t going to let that happen.
Along with enjoying the snow (our kids were both born in Phoenix), a walk to the sugar shack, and evenings by the fire, Papa let them pick out a Christmas tree. The one they found had more meaning then they could ever know; their Great-Grandpa had planted the tree years ago in hopes that it would serve as a Christmas tree and it was mature enough to be used just for us.
I served as photographer as three generations cut the tree down, brought it in and decorated it. It allowed me to hide all the tears. There was so much meaning in this particular Christmas, more than I think any of us realized.
We have not been back to New Hampshire for Christmas since then, and I am not sure how I feel about that. It was such a special and authentic New England Christmas that I think we are afraid that we wouldn’t be able to recreate it. But it is important to give up expectations of a perfect Christmas because they will each be special in their own way.
Supporting Local Businesses and Workforces
To find a real perfect Christmas tree near you, check out the interactive map on the Christmas Tree Board website, where they have listings for all kinds of retailers – choose and cut, seasonal lots, garden centers, home improvement stores, etc. – and even online shops. They even have a visual tree guide for a close-up look at the 20 most popular types of real Christmas trees!
1 TRUE Global Intelligence fielded a survey of 2,019 Americans adults ages 21 to 49 years from July 6th to July 10th, 2020. All respondents to the survey celebrate or observe Christmas and either decide or share in the decision of whether and what kind of Christmas tree to put up in their home each year or influence their home’s decisionmaker. The survey has a margin of error of ±2.2% and higher for subgroups.
2 Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of an Artificial Christmas Tree and a Natural Christmas Tree; Ellipsos, Montreal, Quebec, 2009; pages 6 & 8.