We’re both big fans of Christmas – and Christmas trees of course. But coming from opposite sides of the world – not to mention different planets – means that we have quite different perspectives on whether that tree should be real or fake. And it turns out it’s a lot more based on our childhoods than anything else.
Fake it till you make it.
Nothing beats the feel of the real.
What’s more, he says:
I’ve never had a real tree at Christmas apart from when Mrs Romance and I have spent the festive season at her family home.
Her family always used to get a real tree, which and it was kind of strange for me. The needles drop and go everywhere, it smells kind of funny and the real ones are actually a lot harder to decorate than the fake ones.
Also, my mum, who’s a bit of an environmentalist, has always thought it was cruel to cut a tree down just for Christmas (even thought they’re usually farmed especially for this time of year) and I think my dad likes the idea of saving money just buying one fake tree that would last forever!
Probably because it’s all I’ve ever known, having an artificial tree is as much a part of Christmas as turkey and mince pies.
The same way people get nostalgic about having a real Christmas tree – the smell, the needles on the floor, the process of going out to choose your tree – my memories of Christmas always start with Dad stomping about and clambering up into the attic each year to lug the Christmas box down with the tree inside. Then Mum and I spending time together decorating the tree.
Mrs Romance and I have always had an artificial Christmas trees at home, though I don’t think she really enjoyed it in the past. I get the feeling she was just doing it to make me feel better.
However, we’ve recently upgraded to a beautiful Monterey Pine tree from Balsam Hill. It’s easily the most realistic tree we’ve ever had and I reckon this is the first year that Mrs Romance won’t mind not having a real one.
This tree looks amazing and was surprisingly easy to set up. All of its branches are hinged, so there’s not as much pulling a bending to do, and the lights are integral to the tree with the power coupling going through the trunk. This means there’s more time (and patience) available after you’ve put up the tree to focus on the decorations!
We were really surprised at how good our tree looked when we’d put it up. And it even comes with a couple of sets of gloves and its own storage bag for after Christmas.
Hopefully all this will have changed Mrs Romance’s view of having an artificial tree from now on!
And another thing, she says:
The choice between a real or fake Christmas tree for me is a geographical decision.
Growing up we always had a real tree. My birthday is a week before Christmas and it became a tradition that we’d go on 18th December and get our real Christmas tree.
I used to love getting in the car with Dad and driving down and picking the tree, bringing it home and decorating it on my birthday. The smell of a real tree takes me right back to my childhood.
As I got older, I realised the problem with having a real tree is that you can only have it up for a week before Christmas. You see in Australia, it’s just too hot to keep a real tree alive for longer than that – and still have it look good on Christmas day, that is.
My excitement for Christmas has grown even stronger as I get older. So when it came time for Jim and I to get our first Christmas tree together, I hit the shops early and got a fake tree so I could put it up as soon as possible.
A couple of years ago we were in America in December and that took Christmas to a whole new level. The real trees there are completely different to the real trees we get in Australia. I’m in love with American real Christmas trees and I wish we could have them here. But until we can, I’m pretty happy with a fake Christmas tree.
This year’s new tree is an upgrade and it has the most incredible lights in it, which makes me very happy. I waited until December to put it up but I think I might start a little bit earlier next year, now that I’ve got this perfect tree at home.
Or maybe we’ll do Christmas in July at our place?