I’ve always been a real tree kind of gal.

I swore I would never buy fake. The whole ritual of cutting down a holiday tree with our children was something I adored; from our excitement, to the smell of fresh fir, to the hot chocolate or cider served at the tree farm, to finding that perfect tree.

It was one of the best parts of Christmas.

Christian turned Pagan, I have combined the many overlapping decorating traditions found in both faiths and now realize just how much Pagan mythology was absorbed into Christian practices. Bringing fresh evergreen branches indoors is one of them.

Although my children no longer live at home, I am no less enthused about what I now call the Yule Tree.

So what kind of tree do I decorate now, artificial or real?

Before I tell you, here are some Christmas tree facts, pros and cons:

1. An estimated 30 million trees get cut down for holiday use each year. Wow! That’s 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide to neutralize.

2. Most of those trees go into land fill yards, and are not chipped for landscaping use, as so often we are told.

3. Holiday trees are treated with pesticides. There are options however in some areas for organic trees.

4. Advocates for live trees say that trees sold in one’s area are from that area and good for the local community. While this is true in some cases, many trees in my province of Ontario are shipped from the eastern provinces and some from across country in British Columbia. I live rurally so have access to local tree farms, and organic choices. But when I lived in the city without a car my choices were limited to Nova Scotia trees. Make sure to ask when buying your tree where it’s from.

More here, my lovelies…