Fake or Real?
by Michele Christopher

So since today is the "official" start of Christmas (notice the "official", cause I really think it really starts December 26. Advertisers and subliminal messages all year round. I hate ads. "Oh I'm going to make you buy those expensive gifts.") We have been presented with a decision. And with this decision, the answer really doesn't matter cause we really don't care.121605_tree_large.jpg

So, being the kind and gentile people we are, have decided to let you make the final choice. Seems like I don't really care about what the hell kind it is, her kids flip either way depending on which one will make Christmas Day come a little sooner, and Michele, well, I really don't know where she is leaning.

But, being this is late night typing, we have to tell you the reasons why we like one over the other. It's in our contract somewhere. No, her kids won't be participating in this. But, the good news is you will!

Decide and vote and we will go with your decision.

But, on to the reasons that we have for why or why not.

Lets start this.

turtle takes a walk out the crick!

I like real trees. Real trees are cool. The smell, stickiness, and flammability of them reminds me of a cheap whore who drank to much MD 20/20. This is the way to go. Save money plus you can toss them in the fireplace when you are done with them and watch those fuckers explode out of the top of your chimney like Fourth of July!

"Within three seconds of ignition, the dry Scotch pine is completely ablaze. At five seconds, the fire extends up the tree and black smoke with searing gases streaks across the ceiling. Fresh air near the floor feeds the fire. The sofa, coffee table and the carpet ignite prior to any flame contact. Within 40 seconds "flashover" occurs -- that's when an entire room erupts into flames, oxygen is depleted and dense, deadly toxic smoke engulfs the scene."

Good stuff.

Or, if you don't like the explosiveness part of it, you can tie them on top of your car all year long to let the neighborhood know that either you are extremely forgetful or you have lost your mind. Either way, it looks cool. This is one of those things to do that I only recommend if your liscense has not been suspended.christmasfire.jpg

Let's take another look at real trees. They are cheap, piss everyone in the sanitation department off the few days after Christmas and you don't have to worry about where you hid them when the next year rolls around.

So for me there really is two issues here. The initial price vs. putting them together the next year. A real tree you can get for 40 bucks while a good fake one runs you about 200. Now, if you are really good, read really, really good, you might be able to take that fake tree for about three years, so your initial investment is still in the negative as compared to a real tree.

This made sense when I first thought about it. Wait for my logic. It will come back.

And, saving it for three years is kind of a gimmie. It doesn't always happen. Saving it, not damaging it or losing it is something that one of the other writers on this site has not quite mastered yet. I'm not pointing fingers as to who that other writer is, but you guys can kinda of figure it out.

So this is the equation.

Initial price x years in use - $30-$40 every year until the fake tree is lost or damaged = decision on buying a fake tree is worth it.

As you can see, this might take a little time for my empirical decision to be proven.

Until then, I think I'll just stick to the real trees.

Cause they smell nice. - T

michele gives new meaning to "live" trees:

To tree or not to tree, that is the question.

Well, getting a tree isn't really the issue here. It's what kind of tree.

I did the fake Christmas tree for a few years. dangertree.jpgBut every year when I put that thing together, I would end up with scratches up and down my arm, some kind of puncture wound, a tree that looked like a drunk person put it together and a near nervous breakdown. Some of the branches formed a weird design and it looked like the tree was mocking me. I'm sure it was. "HAHAHA I foiled you again, you horrible tree-put togetherer! YOU SUCK!"

Ok, sometimes I was drunk. But that was only after trying to stick the right branches in the right slots for a few hours. Things got a little hairy. I needed to step back and calm down a bit. A little break, a little gin and I was ready to hit the tree again. So what if in the end it resembled a Picasso painting. The point was, the tree was done. It was up. Yea, it tilted slightly to the left and there was a big bare spot on the right side, but if you turned the bare spot against the wall and tilted your head slightly, it looked almost perfect.

"Mom, why does the tree look upside down?"
"Shut up or Santa will leave you nothing but socks and underwear."

Yea, a few years of that and I was done.

Is a real tree any better?

First you have to go to one of those giant lots where they have about 10,000 trees for sale knowing full well they will only sell about 200.jacktree.jpg It makes me feel bad. All of the trees going to their death. I walk up and down the aisles and look at each tree and wonder if it will be chosen by a family or if it will suffer the cruel fate of being chopped down for no good reason at all. I imagine that the trees come to life, like a Christmas special cartoon, and they all sing a sad, forlorn song - complete with dance routine - about standing and watching while their friends get taken home by loving, happy families and how it feels to be the last one picked. Or not picked at all. Like the Island of Misfit Trees. I tell all the trees that I wish I could take every single one of them home and make good use of them. They cry a little and tell me how generous and thoughtful I am and that my Christmas spirit gives them a little hope and makes them feel a little less unloved. Then I remind them that either way, they'll probably end up in a fireplace or being smashed to pieces by the blade of a garbage truck. Because in the end, all the trees end up dead. Sure, some of them get to enjoy a week or two of bliss and get all decorated with pretty ornaments and have presents put under them and all that shit, but in the end, they are all just so much mulch. That's when the trees turn on me and I flee the lot screaming "The trees are sentient!! The trees are sentient!!"

"Mom, is Christmas getting to you again? Do you need me to get your medicine? That's the bottle spelled G-I-N, right?"

So both have their pros and cons.

Real trees smell nice. Once Christmas is over, you just pull the ornaments off and throw it outside. On the other hand, I find pine needles under my couch four months later.

Fake trees.mockingtree.jpg Hmm. They cost more, they don't smell like Christmas, they hurt like fuck when you put them together. But you don't need to remember to water it and with a fake tree you don't lay awake at night wondering if it's too dry and is going to spontaneously combust and set the house on fire,thus ruining Christmas for your family. Probably New Year's and Valentine's Day too.

What it comes down to is, the mocking, scratching, plastic smelling tree or the singing, dancing, sentient, house destroyer tree. What a choice. I would just go with whatever the kids want, but both of them want different things. My son thinks if we get a fake tree, that means we can put it up sooner and Christmas will feel like it's here quicker. My daughter thinks fake trees are blasphemous.

Truthfully, there are few things that make me feel as warm and cozy as sitting in front of the lit up Christmas tree in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, just after the presents have been adjusted for the last time. Just drinking a cup of hot chocolate, wrapped up in a blanket, staring at the lights and living in the moment. This year will mark the first time ever that my kids are sleeping at their father's house on Christmas Eve. It's going to make my very early Christmas morning ritual a little weird and a little sad. But at least I'll have a turtle to stare at the lights with me. It doesn't really matter at that point if the tree is fake or real, I guess.

Still, I would like my tree not to mock me.

Also, for those of you who are going to suggest a fake tree, know right now that I would NEVER get a tree whose color was not some appropriate shade of green, nor would I purchase a tree that came with ornaments soldered on to it, or had fiber optic lights embedded in the branches. You people who buy those things should be put to death.

Ok, at least severely punished. By singing, dancing Christmas trees. -M

So there are our thoughts on this subject. Remember, whichever gets the most votes wins and we get to buy it.

So choose wisely.

Fake or Real?

Michele and Turtle will use whichever tree gets the most nods from you guys



I might consider driving up there to kick both of you in your respective asses if you DARE get a fake tree.

Where the hell is the fun if the tree isn't a fire hazard by the time Christmas arrives?

Freaking Communists. That's what you two are for even considering a fake tree.


Um, I think fake trees would be the height of Capatalism there, Mel.

Growing up, we had real trees for a number of years, then we went the fake route. I have never wanted to have a real tree again. And any time I might have even had the slightest inclination, I go over to a friend's home who has a real tree and remind myself why I don't want them.

The price, the work, the mess, the hazard ... hell no.


I think fake trees would be the height of Capatalism there

Oh sure, call me out on a technicality.

I just love the smell of real trees-tons of dead, prickly needles be-damned. One day I want to take one out back and just light it up after Christmas. My HOA might have a problem with the scorched yard, though, so I can't.

Unless I do it in a neighbor's yard...


Oh sure, call me out on a technicality.

It's the pedant in me ;)

When I buy a house, I hope to have a nice tree in the yard I can light up. I really don't want to bring one into the house, but I'd love to decorate one in the yard.


This is a no-brainer in our house, Beautiful Wife and Boyo are both allergic to pine. Hell NO we're not putting a major allergin in our home. Trees belong outside. When we buy a home next year, I'll plant an evergreen in my front yard if I have to, but no real trees in the house. Sap, bugs, needles and needles and more fucking needles, bugs, did I mention fucking bugs?

Trees belong in the forest, they're pretty there. We're pagan enough without bringing a dying tree into our house.


Oh...and Beautiful Wife manages to tweak a fake tree until it looks amazingly good. She's like a fake tree sculptor or something. Friends borrow her to make their tree look nice.


Friends borrow her to make their tree look nice.

Come on! I mean ... come on!

That was your freebie, Timmer ;)


Fake trees are like fake tits. Sure maybe they look nice, but everybody can tell they are fake.


Fake trees are like fake tits. Sure maybe they look nice, but everybody can tell they are fake.

You say that as if it is a bad thing...


I don't know that one has to be superior or inferior to the other. Just different.

Trees on the other hand ...


To be honest, though I have had experience handling fake trees, I cannot say the same about fake tits.


I'll have to cast my vote for real trees (and tatas, for that matter). If you do end up going the fake tree route, though, I think it's better to get something that's really fake instead of a crappy green simulation. When I was a kid, for several years we had this really cool tree (I think it came from Sears) whose limbs utilized shiny silver strips of aluminum. When not in use, each limb was stored in its own little tubular paper sleeve. I loved that tree. Later on we had fake green trees for a couple of years and I hated them. Then we started getting real ones and I liked them best, even though they do have their issues. Plastic green trees are just icky...



looking like real trees are winning here


I vote fake.

Real trees blow goats. Fussy, prissy things. Unless you fork over the major bucks, you end up with some piece of shit that has been dyed because of all the brown needles. You pick needles out of the carpet/rug for months. You have to water the damn thing. It's lopsided. You have to dispose of it, and it's a long drive to New Jersey just to toss it in the ditch.

Even the cheap fake trees look pretty good. I ran for years on a $13 special from Walmart, and I was very happy with it.

One other thing; you can bend the branches on a fake tree to accomodate large/troublesome ornaments, or to even out the lights.

As for the smell, get an air freshener. Pine is one of the few fragrances that actually smells like the real thing.


If all you guys can stay patient a little longer, I'll let you be one of the first to buy one of the new hybrids I've been working on.


Your daughter's right, Michele. Fake trees are blasphemous. Fuck 'em. You guys have to get a real tree--that's what Christmas is about. You need the smell, you need the pine needles all over the place, you need the fire hazard, you need the reality of it. Fuck fake trees. Why the hell would you put a big stick of plastic in your living room? They look ridiculous, shiny and perfect, godawful. Real trees have personality. Fake trees are misshapen Barbies.

Look, it's not Christmas without a fire hazard. Fake trees suck ass. Go real. Be a traditionalist.


What?! Friends borrow me to mow their lawns, lift heavy objects, and paint stuff.

You're not married are you Cullen?


I vote real. We used to harvest our trees off the mountain behind our house when I was growing up - it's not Christmas without the smell, the needles, and the cats trying to climb it and pull off every ornament there is (our trees are tied to the wall every year)! A real tree is traditional - the trunk should be saved and dried for the following year's Yule log - the fire to welcome back the Sun on Midwinter Solstice. And hey, what's life without a little risk?


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