Current Affairs

Christmas trees: fake or fir?

It’s a seasonal subject that can cause worry and concern for all involved – fake or fir when it comes to the all-important tree?

By Kevin Milne
Christmas trees - fake or fir?

For years now we have had a real Christmas tree – a nice pine branch cut down and secured safely in a bucket. Sometimes, we even bought young growing pines that we planted out after the big day. Now my husband says real pine trees are unfair on people with allergies – it makes them sniff and sneeze. His brother is allergic to pine and threatens not to come here on Christmas. My husband wants us to buy a plastic, fake tree this year. I’m against it. What do you think?

We overthink everything these days – even Christmas trees have become controversial. There is much to be said for “fake” trees. They can be used year after year and some of the more contemporary designs look really cool. They don’t make people with allergies sneeze and there’s no doubt that fresh pine can affect a lot of guests. Some have Christmas lights integrated into them and they’re easier to set up. But having said all that, if “real” trees bring back memories of childhood, if that pine smell has become part of your Christmas atmosphere and if you love pulling out the decorations every year and dressing the tree, then you must continue to buy one.

If people allergic to pine turn up, they can stay away from the tree. Give them their treats in another room. I don’t like the sound of your brother-in-law if he’s making threats. Why don’t you try this year with a fake tree and see if everyone is happier for it? Make it the coolest fake tree ever. If the day is no happier, if your brother-in-law is just as grumpy, you’ve done your best. Next year, it’s a real tree again.

Do you have a consumer question for Kevin? Email or post to Weekly Consumer, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

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