New Tree!

Up until a few years ago, I was a die hard real tree person. I liked the fresh smell and the tradition of the hunt. Although there were a few things that I didn't love - the mess of pine needles, watering it, the hassle of getting it home, etc. A few years ago I broke down and purchased a faux tree. Whoa - completely rocked my world. So easy to put up, no hassle and perfectly spaced lights. (I admit that if I had read this 10 years ago, I would have wrinkled my nose at the thought of a fake tree. So I don't blame you if you are too.)


Sadly that tree had some technical difficulties resulting in a bald patch of lights that I could never get working again. So this year it was time to upgrade to something a little swankier. Lucky for me, some trees now have LED lights so double bonus. After much hemming and hawing, this Balsam Hill Norway Spruce was singled out.


Two jumbo boxes sat in my hallway until the appointed time had come. I cranked up the Christmas music, brought in the muscle (thats Mr. Limestone in case you are wondering) and up it went.


The headless body in the white gloves is me. I'm 'fluffing' the tree. And yes, white gloves came with the tree (i don't have white gloves laying around). A little thing but it made getting it just so a lot easier.


I absolutely love the LED lights. They are warm and bright - they cast a nice glow over the whole room when the other lights are out. I don't know much about energy savings but considering how often I leave this tree on, its nice to know its not a huge energy suck. I wouldn't mind a tiny bit more fullness right at eye level but that is really only noticeable to me.


Now it was on to decorating it! Here is a little sneak peek of my DIY topper. More on that later this week.

So what side are you on? Do you think artificial trees are faux or a faux pas?


  1. Andrea Ritcey9:20 AM

    I think it's a personal choice.  I live in MI so I have to believe that it is easier to get a real tree home.  The day after Thanksgiving we (my husband,daughters, son and DIL and sister and her husband) go to a tree farm and cut down our tree after much deliberation on whose choice is the best :)  I never win.  We also take many pictures which sometimes are used as our Christmas card.  I have the real tree in the living room but I have a fake on the porch and a fake in the dining room and I like them all because they each work in their own way.  Your tree is lovely.  I'm a fairly new following of your blog and am really enjoying it.  I think if I didn't have children I would love to live in NY or Chicago.

  2. I'm not anti-faux trees(we have one in our family room,) but one of our family traditions is the annual hunt for the perfect tree.  We bundle up the kids and trek out into the woods(well not really, it's a tree farm,) and compare the merits of this tree vs that.  We saw down the chosen one, giving each of the boys a turn at the saw, and strap it to our roof to bring home and place in our great room.  Some years we get the surprise of a bird's nest nestled deep in the branches of the tree.  And of course the smell of a fresh cut tree can't be beat.

    Your tree looks very lifelike, and I love that topper!  Thanks for sharing.

  3. Of the 21 Christmas's I've had in my life, we only had a real tree once and I did not like it haha Faux trees come in so many shapes and the pre-lit ones are just fantastic. In fact, I think I might even put up our tree today :)

  4. I prefer real but your faux tree looks really pretty.  Perfect window for it - it must look so nice from the street.

  5. I'm a sucker for a real tree.  To me it adds another layer to the senses (the smell), and without that, it doesn't really feel like Christmas.  We just put ours up over the weekend, and lit the fireplace while snow started to fall outside.  It was magical. :) 

  6. It's a beautiful tree!  The lights look great!  I don't discriminate- real or fake, a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree!

  7. Pat Taveras10:25 AM

    coming from another country that uses only fake trees I'm kinda in favor of those. I have tried the real ones and they were pretty but a pain to maintain. Yours is so pretty!!!

  8. Kate B10:30 AM

    I'm married to a fireman - so that's a factor in our choosing a fake tree.  I also got tired of vacuuming up pine needles in July.  Yes, real tress smell nice, but there are ways to recreate that smell if you wish.  Fake tree all the way for me.

  9. Janette@The2Seasons10:36 AM

    We at The 2 Seasons go with the real deal.  

  10. Kmktaylor10:49 AM

    Growing up, we always had real. When I was married, we lived in an apartment so fake it was. I always said I'd get real when I got my own house, but I've stuck with fake. I like to have it up a looong time, so real would die, I also don't like the mess and thought of cutting down a tree for me to enjoy for a few weeks. I buy an evergreen candle and hide it somewhere in the room near the tree so it smells. One more reason for fake is I can position the branches "just so" for the ornaments to hang.

  11. Doreenre10:53 AM

    Can't wait to hear about your topper!!!

    We have a faux tree and have decided that next year, we're going to get a real one.  We'll keep the faux and have two trees, one in the living room (more decorative and pretty) and a second in the family room, with all our family/homemade ornaments.  The gloves look so fancy!!

  12. I can see pro's and con's to both but I've been on the faux tree my whole life. I grew up with mostly faux trees. I loved helping grandmother put it together every year. I loved the idea of not killing a million trees so I could celebrate a holiday. I loved not having to spend money that could other wise go towards presents, each year on a tree. The part of my family that got live tree's always had really lovely trees and I loved the way they smelled. I always got sad after Christmas though when it came time to throw them away. I'm a sentimental sap that way. 

  13. Wrenaria12:32 PM

    As a kid we used to get live in-the-pot trees and plant them on our acre after Christmas until we discovered my mom was actually allergic to the mold spores they carry. Then we switched to fake and I still have a fake now (I like my mom being able to visit comfortably) and love it. I like being able to manipulate the branches so my garland is always even and I never worry about my ornaments being secure or getting sappy.

    As for the tree smell - we have a Bath and Body Works "Fresh Balsam" wallflower plugged in directly behind the tree (you cant even see it unless you crawl under the tree) and you're hit with a blast of authentic smelling Christmas tree every time you enter the house. :)

  14. christine{bijouandboheme}1:30 PM

    Your new tree looks stunning!!! I was the same as you about the real/fake debate until last year when I went nuts and bought a pink tree- now I love both:)  I can't wait to see that beauty of yours all decorated!

  15. Ashley Ez2:15 PM

    I always had fake growing up, except for one year when we did the whole tree farm experience.  But my husband says he will divorce me the year I buy I fake (ha!) so to keep our marriage on solid ground I agree to a real tree and having to vacuum pine needles everyday the month of december.

  16. i love, love, love real trees but my son is super allergic to them. after years of  him being so sick at christmas we went the fake route and while i miss the smell and feel of a real tree, it is a breeze to put this one up :)

  17. I'm firmly on the real tree side--for now. We live in MT and the Thanksgiving weekend trip into the woods with the whole family to find & cut the tree with warm soup and cinnamon rolls afterward was always a part of my childhood and I want it to continue to be a part of my kids' too.  Even the hassle of getting it to stand and figuring out the mess of lights seems important for some reason. I love the smell and feel of a real tree. But, that said, I got my first fake one last year (a mini-bright white $5 after-Christmas sale version) to put some of our special ornaments on in the dinning room, and I was amazed at the ease of it all. I'm also a little particular about having a nicely shaped tree and getting all the lights just right, so I can see myself switching over when all my little ones are gone. If it ever becomes more chore than joy, I'll go faux!

  18. Cynthia M3:22 PM

    Avoid Balsam Hill trees - take it from me who was beyond ripped-off by this place. Customer service is very weak - google Balsam Hill complaint and see what you get. Our tree had a part that would not light up. When we called about the problem, we were told they could not send the replacement before Christmas but that they would send it after Christmas. However, after Christmas, they sent a letter saying that if we still had a problem with our tree we needed to call them up and discuss it! Keep in mind that when we called customer service the first time they kept us on hold, no joke, for 1.5 hours. Do yourself a favor and avoid.           

  19. Cynthia M3:28 PM

    Avoid Balsam Hill trees - take it from me who was beyond ripped-off by this place. Customer service is very weak - google Balsam Hill complaint and see what you get. Our tree had a part that would not light up. When we called about the problem, we were told they could not send the replacement before Christmas but that they would send it after Christmas. However, after Christmas, they sent a letter saying that if we still had a problem with our tree we needed to call them up and discuss it! Keep in mind that when we called customer service the first time they kept us on hold, no joke, for 1.5 hours. Do yourself a favor and avoid.         

  20. While I LOVE the scent of pine in the house, seeing all of the Christmas tree carcasses on the sidewalk after the holidays is soooo depressing to me. I decided not to contribute to that anymore, so what I do is go to the Christmas lot and grab a few of their clipped branches that they usually end tossing in a big bin and throwing away. I bring them home and stick some in our lovely artificial tree, put some on the mantle, over doorways, etc. Combine that with a nice, pine-scented candle and you're all set.

    You gotta love the ease of a pre-lit tree!

  21. fl_connie5:26 PM

    As long as I can remember - my tree has gone up on my birthday on the 9th (even when I was a little girl!).  The year that most of the needles came off the tree we had so that I had to UNdecorate it, get a new one, and decorate again was the last year I had to have a real tree, lol.  I  usually get a couple of boughs and do a swag for the smell. 

  22. Angela R6:02 PM

    We bought a faux tree two years ago and I like the convenience. It  supports my  heavy  ornaments much better than  live trees.    I miss having a livel tree and  I’m thinking of using handmade ornaments next year.  A change every once in a while is good.

  23. This is my first year with a fake tree (my friends moved and can't use the 9-footer they had before). While I'm grateful, I really miss having a real tree. BUT - my ceilings are 12-feet tall, and it is super expensive to buy a real tree tall enough to look good in my space.

    The tree looks great, and I can't wait to see the decor.

  24. Lisa Rozario8:14 PM

    I grew up with an artificial tinsel tree my father had picked up for us in was very special and lasted us many years in India. When we moved to London we did invest in an artificial one - it was just easier. And then in Manhattan, with trees being sold at every other street corner and the scent was too amazing to pass up. Now we buy the real ones from Stew Leonard's. Yours does look magnificent - perfectly symmetrical and perfectly lit.

  25. Amanda8:34 PM

    This company railed me for an $800 overpriced defective tree that looks little better than something I could have gotten from Lowes or Home Depot for $200 bucks.  Their customer service is beyond atrocious and if you don't believe me just check the Internet for countless reviews of people who have been scammed by Balsam Hill.  If anything, I'm more upset that this product showed up on one of my favorite blogs.  Do your readers a favor and don't recommend this trash company to ANYONE. EVER AGAIN.

  26. MrsLimestone8:43 PM

    Oh I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you got your money back. Obviously I didn't have a negative experience with this tree while I did have one with my last one. I'm definitely not a tree expert - just sharing my opinions based on this tree.

  27. laura @ the shorehousechic1:36 AM

    Not wrinkling my nose at all.  Just sneezing from the live tree we put up tonight. :-)

    So far I haven't been able to shake the real tree thing.  But I'm not a faux hater at all.

  28. Caitlin @ Hardly Housewives10:22 AM

    I'm still a die hard real-tree neighborhood in Brooklyn (Bk Heights) always had shops set up on most corners and I loved walking through them and smelling the trees and wreaths and finally lugging one home and up four stories to our apartment.  These days, we're down the street from a Christmas tree farm so we'll have a real, local one.  You do make some good points though about going fake and I DO hate all those needles...

    I like Andrea's idea of having a combination of makes me want a tree for our porch!

  29. Amanda1:28 PM

    Its OK.  I'm just warning you that that this place is to be avoided.  They are a much-despised online outfit by quite a few consumers.  They boast these total made-up endorsements by top celebrities on their home page without any real proof that Oprah and others actually back their products when they don't. 

  30. Theres nothing wrong at all with an artificial tree, Im not too keen on the fibre optic trees though, we usually have a large real tree in the mian room, and an artificial one somewhere else in the house (its going to be the job this weekend to decorate them)


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