Oh, Christmas Tree! A Holiday Guide to Selecting the Perfect Tree for Your Home

Kaitlyn Pacheco
Written by Kaitlyn Pacheco
Updated December 17, 2021
family decorating Christmas tree
Photo: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

Make your home merry and bright with the perfect tree

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It’s the most wonderful time of year! We’re well into December, and Christmas is right around the corner. Whether you’ve begun decorating your home or are still in the planning stages, there’s still time to put up lights and add other festive trimmings to your home. 

Of all the fun ways to spruce up your home for the holidays, perhaps the most important decoration of all is the Christmas tree. Christmas trees add a warm and welcoming ambiance to any room, display decorative ornaments on their branches, and, of course, provide the perfect place for Santa to leave presents. 

Selecting the perfect tree for your home isn’t quite as straightforward as it might have been in years past. With the advent of artificial Christmas trees, there are more options, sizes, and colors than ever before. 

If you haven’t decided on your Christmas tree aesthetic for this year yet, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. We looked at what’s trending in Christmas tree décor and surveyed 1,000 homeowners to figure out which way Americans lean when it comes to picking their tree. We’ve also put together a guide to help you select the perfect tree for your home this Christmas season!

Natural vs. Artificial Christmas Trees

Beautiful holiday decorated room with Christmas tree with presents under it
Photo: Alena Ozerova / Shutterstock

Christmas trees have long been a cornerstone of home holiday decorations, with the tradition of decorating a tree dating back to the 16th century. Despite this history, more and more people are turning away from traditional natural trees, opting instead for their artificial counterparts.

Both types of trees can pack plenty of Christmas cheer, and there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between them. It all comes down to what you want out of your Christmas tree.

Many people love the experience of heading out to the local Christmas tree farm or lot to find the ideal tree for their home. In fact, there are plenty of families that make a tradition out of the experience, as it can be magical for adults and kids alike.

Natural trees also fill the room with that much-desired pine scent. Although there are products, such as candles and sprays, that can replicate this aroma, many people feel there’s no substitution for the real deal!

Natural trees require some maintenance, such as watering, trimming, sweeping up fallen pine needles, and disposal after Christmas. However, if you don’t mind putting in a little bit of work, a natural Christmas tree is sure to bring holiday joy to your home. 

On the other hand, artificial trees are perfect if you prefer the set-it-and-forget-it approach to Christmas trees. Artificial trees can be shipped (in boxes) directly to your home and require minimal setup. In fact, most artificial Christmas trees come pre-strung with lights, meaning one less step for you! 

Foot-for-foot, artificial trees tend to be more expensive than their natural cousins. However, as they are reusable, you don’t need to purchase a new tree each year, saving you money in the long run. Plus, artificial trees make for excellent alternatives for people with allergies. 

Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you don’t mind the maintenance of natural trees, they can be very rewarding. Or, if you’d rather not deal with the additional work, an artificial tree fills the role without fail!

While natural trees may be traditional, there’s no denying that artificial trees are here to stay. In fact, many people are stepping their tree game up even further with customized trees for that extra pop of Christmas spirit. 

For instance, some people are breaking away from the traditional green color. Search data indicates that more people have been going for other colors and patterns for their Christmas trees. Searches for colored and patterned trees have been steadily rising each Christmas season since the early 2000s. 

Take a look at some of the numbers from last year:

  • Flocked Christmas Tree (38,000 searches in Nov. 2020)

  • White Christmas Tree (34,000 searches in Nov. 2020) 

  • Red Christmas Tree (92,000 searches in Nov. 2020)

  • Blue Christmas Tree (48,000 searches in Nov. 2020)

  • Gold Christmas Tree (31,000 searches in Nov. 2020)

  • Silver Christmas Tree (36,000 searches in Nov. 2020)

In addition to solid colors, some people are looking for red-and-white-striped trees and buffalo plaid trees, too. 

Ultimately, there are no rules when it comes to selecting the perfect tree for your home. You can customize your home with a tree that accentuates your interior design choices or perhaps a tree that’s your kid’s favorite color. No matter the reason, artificial trees open up a world of options for selecting the perfect tree this Christmas season.

Eco-Friendly Christmas Trees

Beautiful Christmas tree in decorated living room. Festive interior
Photo: New Africa / Shutterstock

Another growing trend amongst Christmas trees is the desire for eco-friendly and sustainable tree options. According to a survey we took of U.S. homeowners, 59% of people ages 16 to 24 years old consider the environmental impact of their tree to be important. Comparatively, only 43% of people ages 55 and up said the same. 

Here you can see the breakdown by age group of the percentage of people who find the environmental impact of their tree to be important:

  • 16–24: 59%

  • 25–34: 56%

  • 35–44: 54%

  • 45–54: 48%

  • 55+: 43%

A common misconception is that artificial trees are more eco-friendly than natural trees. After all, you don’t need to cut down an artificial tree. However, natural trees benefit the environment more than artificial trees do. 

Although they are eventually cut down, natural trees increase the air’s oxygen and help offset carbon emissions. Furthermore, whether unsold or repurposed after Christmas, natural trees can be ground to mulch and reused. 

The manufacturing and shipping of artificial Christmas trees, on the other hand, contribute to CO² in the atmosphere. That being said, if you keep an artificial tree for more than 10 years, it offsets the environmental impact, according to Carbon Trust.

Which Christmas Tree Should You Choose?

While an argument can be made for natural and artificial trees, the ultimate deciding point should be what works best for your home and family. If you love heading out to the tree lot, picking out your perfect tree, and don’t mind all the required care, a real tree is a perfect addition to any home. 

On the other hand, maybe you prefer the set-it-and-forget-it method that comes with artificial trees. After all, Christmas is one of many people’s busiest times of year. As such, a tree that requires as little care as possible can help to free up time for family and other holiday activities. Plus, there’s a world of fun to explore with all the festive advancements in tree customization that continue to grow with each passing year. 

Ultimately, the choice is yours—natural or artificial, green or gold, big or small. What matters is you enjoy a merry Christmas with the ones you love most in this world, spent by a tree that makes you happy.

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