An artificial pre-lit Christmas tree or a genuine real tree straight from the woods? Which is right for you?
If you’re working at home, sometimes getting ready for the holidays can still be just as stressful as if you’re working outside of the home. You still need to get out of your office and go shopping, decorate, and all that other fun stuff.
And just because you’re a stay-at-home mom, dad or “other” doesn’t mean you always have any more extra time than those reporting to an office every day. In fact, depending on where you are with your home-based business, you may have even less time that a traditional employee.
Why? No work – no pay. No paid holidays, no paid sick days, no comp time. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid – period.
Well, one of the ways my husband and I found to save some time and in the long run save some money was actually investing in an artificial pre-lit Christmas tree when we moved into our new house.
And I don’t think Santa really minds if he’s leaving presents under a real tree or an artificial tree. Do you?
Now, I’d been using an artificial tree in my apartment for years before moving in with my husband. Apartment life just didn’t seem to lend itself very easily to real trees.
After the season, I had to find a way to dispose of the thing. And the city only had “set times” when you could put your wrapped tree out to get taken away.
Who wants to wrap a tree?
Besides that, the cost of real trees kept going up and up and up every year. If I wanted a nice looking tree, I had to be prepared to pay about $75 or more for a decent looking tree. A couple of years while my kids were small I was only able to afford a “Charlie Brown” tree that sat on top of a table.
Besides that, trying to weave those strands of lights around the tree by myself was getting tiresome and frustrating. I never did seem to get them right. And inevitably once I get them all strung, one or two of them would blow out and I’d have to start all over – even if they were all lit up before I put them on the tree!
Well, one year I decided enough. I was going to buy an artificial pre-lit Christmas tree and see how I liked it. Would it still feel like Christmas without a real tree in my living room?
Of course it did! Once I got the tree all set up, without having the string up the lights even, and decorated, it was a beautiful tree! We put presents under it and I even got a lot of compliments on how real it looked.
When I met my husband, his kids were still small. He had a larger house and so they always had a real tree in their living room. After spending the next three Christmases with them and their real trees, I didn’t have the heart to mention anything about an artificial tree. It was fun going with him and the kids to pick out their big, beautiful real trees every Christmas.
But when we moved into our house, having a real tree seemed a little bit daunting. First of all, we moved into a bi-level house, so either way you got into the house, you always had some stairs to deal with – stairs that were covered in deep, plush carpeting. Think pine tree needles stuck in deep, plush carpeting and who would want to clean that up.
I thought of this and suggested putting a real tree down in the family room with the hardwood floors. Easy needle clean-up and no stairs since the family room had a huge glass door leading out to the yard, where we would eventually burn the tree after the holidays.
No, the tree had to go upstairs so it would be in the big picture window where everyone could see it, not hidden downstairs.
So I suggested we put an artificial tree upstairs and a real tree downstairs, because my husband had never had an artificial tree and neither had his kids. They had to have a real tree. That was a good compromise. Two trees, so he and the kids could still decorate a nice real tree.
And that was the start of our having an artificial pre-lit Christmas tree as a tradition in our home. We went to a Home Depot and found a really pretty pre-lit tree on sale, brought it home and my husband and stepson put it all together and lit it up. It was gorgeous!
Then he and the kids decorated it and they were all so happy with it, they said we didn’t need a second tree downstairs, that even though it was an artificial tree, they were really happy with it.
Plus, no needles to clean up afterward, no lights to unwrap and carefully put away, no light strands hanging down on the lower branches where our cat might want to try hanging from them; take it apart, box it up neatly, and it’s all ready for the next Christmas.
Get An Artificial Pre-Lit Christmas Tree That Matches Your Favorite Real Tree
Artificial trees today come in such a variety of styles and types that you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that matches your favorite type of tree. I’ve seen them in spruce, fir and pine trees, from a smaller tabletop 4 ft. size up to 9 ft. They come in narrower styles if you’re short on space, or really wide styles if you want to fill up the whole corner of a room.
Aren’t artificial trees expensive?
Not in the long run, no. If you consider how much money you’re going to spend on a real tree year after year, a tree that you’re just going to either throw away or burn in the fireplace, it’s actually a cost savings.
I’ve heard of people spending upwards of $150 every year for a real Christmas tree. It stands tall and ornate in the house for what, two or three weeks? Then it’s thrown out.
So if you spend $150 for an artificial pre-lit Christmas tree, not only are you spending less per year, but you don’t have to buy any tree lights either, which saves you even more.
Just do the math before you decide definitely if you’re going to buy one.
But do they look like real trees?
Absolutely! Once you unpack and assemble all the limbs, make sure to pull apart the branches and fluff them up.
They’ve been jam-packed in that box for a while so set it up, fluff it up, and then leave it sit and settle for a day before you decorate it.
And if you’re looking for that “fresh tree scent,” there are some air freshener sprays you can get some pine tree scented air freshener that will make you feel like you just brought that artificial pre-lit Christmas tree home from the great outdoors.