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The great debate

Real or artificial? The Christmas debate that never ends

Courtesy Photo Halen and Dino Denomme play in front of the family Christmas tree while at home in Rogers City. The Denomme family has an artificial Christmas tree that can have all-white or colored lights.

ALPENA — What makes the perfect Christmas tree is in the eyes of the beholder.

Some people believe the natural beauty and scent of a real fir tree is a must during the holiday season, while others prefer the simplicity and longevity artificial trees offer.

There are many different types of artificial trees on the market. They come in various sizes and colors and with varying degrees of decor and realness.

Julia Tessmer said that, growing up, her family always had a real tree for Christmas. But, since starting her own family, a fake tree has been the way to go. She said that, although her tree is plain when it is taken out of the box, it is striking once it is decorated.

“We don’t have a tree that costs hundreds of dollars, but, once all of the lights, bulbs, and garland are on, it is stunning,” Tessmer said. “The artificial tree is just so easy for us to put up, and we can leave it up as long as we want and not have to worry about it drying out and losing needles.”

Artificial Christmas trees also offer people a large selection to choose from.

Besides green, they also come in many other colors, such as red, black, white, silver, and even a rainbow pattern. Some have pre-lit stars on them, while others have snowman heads or Santa figures on the tops.

Rebekka Kennedy, of Lincoln, said she prefers an artificial tree because there is no maintenance needed once it is set up and there’s no hassle of disposing of it after the holidays are over.

“I love my fake one,” Kennedy said. “I have no needles to clean up, and I don’t have the bother of cutting it up for bonfire wood. We wouldn’t just let the wood go to waste.”

Pam Richardson, however, said it has always been the tradition of her family for many years to have a real tree.

She said part of the appeal of having a real tree is the adventure of finding the right tree, getting it home, and then dressing it up.

“I enjoy getting out into the woods, cutting it down, bringing it into the house, and looking for the bald spots that I didn’t see in the woods,” Richardson said. “I enjoy the smell, and the family tradition it has. Even picking up the needles is part of the tradition.”

Dana and Rob Denomme and their family live in Rogers City. They have an artificial Christmas tree that is six years old, but still works well, despite the fact it can be somewhat messy still.

“We have a choice of colored or white lights and a remote for convenience,” Dana Denomme said. “It is six years old and mocks us by shedding its fake little needles.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached at 989-358-5689 at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ss_alpenanews.com.