A couple weekends ago we performed the annual rescue of our artificial Christmas tree. As I hoisted the three sections of tree from our garage’s utility room I could not help but think of the money we had saved over buying a real tree. And I wasn’t the only one! My daughter recently wrote a persuasive piece for school arguing that artificial trees were more frugal in the long run. I wonder where she gets it.
Artificial Christmas Trees Cost More Upfront
Reaching the decision to shop for an artificial Christmas tree was tough for me. I am a traditional kind of guy, and every year growing up my mom and I would venture to a Christmas tree farm to scout out real trees. I loved the smell of real Christmas trees, and never thought I would grow up wanting anything else.
When my wife and I got married we continued the tradition of buying a real tree for the first five years of our marriage. However, as trees became more and more expensive, and we found ourselves spending more and more time doing the annual Christmas tree lights untangling, we decided it was time to consider an artificial tree. After a little comparative shopping, we found our artificial Christmas tree at Michaels craft store. It cost about $200 five years ago. The tree was actually more expensive, but we managed to find a good deal at Michaels, and used one of their store coupons to receive further discounts.
At the time we were spending about $75 for real trees. We liked the full, Fraser Fir variety for their fullness and scent, though they were admittedly more expensive than other types. Our artificial Christmas tree matched this same style (minus the smell), and came pre-lit, which saves me those painful hours of untangling lights each year. At $75 per year, we were on pace to spend $325 over the next five years with live trees, so from a purely financial perspective an artificial tree has saved us over $100. But there are other benefits:
Pros of an Artificial Tree
- No needles to clean up. Seriously, our vacuum used to smell like Christmas trees for weeks after sucking up all the needles dropped after taking the tree out.
- No lights to untangle. No further comments required.
- Safer than real trees. Artificial trees do not dry out, and do not require any water in their tree stand.
- Easy cleanup after Christmas. Simply unplug the tree, take down ornaments and store for next season.
- No sap. Anyone who has carried in a real tree can appreciate this one!
I’m interested to hear from you. Which type of Christmas tree do you prefer, and why?
Photo courtesy of Vitamin C9000