By: Rose Lu


When it comes to Christmas, there are lots of factors in deciding the right tree. Wood vs. Plastic always seems to be the one of the most debated questions throughout the holiday season. Wood trees require lots of pesticides and land, as well as fuel to pick up the tree and transport it however, they are biodegradable.

Plastic trees are not biodegradable. However, if it’s used for four years or more, it would save more money and resources than buying a natural tree every year, according to a 2010 Study by PE International. A wooden tree is the better choice if a family wants a tree for only a year, as long as it’s from a local source and not a far-away farm. Plastic trees are better for families who live in the city, want a long-term tree, and don’t have access to farms. They are also much easier to assemble, store, and can be reused.

There are some ways to reuse a natural tree as Bock of Cal State Fullerton, suggests a way to preserve wooden trees, is by buying a potted tree and replanting it in a garden.

It ultimately boils down to convenience and what families are looking for during the holidays, whether it be the coloring of the tree or the natural pine smells. Some families however, do not use trees and rely on alternatives for the Christmas spirit.

Merry Mirror:  Stack green books, binders and other household items in a pyramid-like manner against a mirror. The mirror creates a reflection effect for the full tree. This fun, functional tree can save space and add Christmas spirit to many households and bedrooms.

Chalkboard tree:  Many households can transform their unused chalkboards into a tree, simply by drawing a design on the chalkboard and using magnets to hang Christmas lights or tinsels.

Ladder Tree: Transform an unused ladder into a Christmas tree by hanging lights and tinsels from the steps and wrapping Christmas lights around it.

Christmas Tree made out of Books: Books that can’t fit into a bookshelf can fit into a tree, by creating layers of books stacked upon each other. Be cautious of LED lights, get the ones that don’t get hot and burn.

Present Tree: Make a tree out of presents! They can be empty or filled, just make sure that the placement of the presents emulate a tree. It is also possible to make this an advent calendar tree for 24 days, each with a present or surprise in it.

Nature Inspired Christmas Tree: This tree consists of nature and other items made of paper, such as evergreen branches, book pages, old photographs and masking tape. Simply tape the branches, book pages etc. onto a wall in a tree-like pattern.

These are just a few suggestions for every family to add holiday spirits to their households and some quick advice for last minute tree shopping. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the holidays!


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