Time to decorate the tree.

First, head to the tree farm (or attic).  Next, cut your tree down (or take it out of it's box).  Finally, once it's up give it some water (or unfold the "branches" into place).

Which are better?  Real or fake?  And yes, we're still talking about trees.

Real Christmas trees are the traditional choice.  It's about the experience of finding the perfect tree.  And there's no shortage of places to get them in West Michigan. They are more work, can pose a fire risk, and may require getting a little cold, but many still swear by them.

Fake trees are time savers.  Just get it out of it's box and put it up.  No travel necessary.  That's more time to hang ornaments and pour eggnog.  Many artificial trees come with built-in lights, another time saver.  And depending on how many years you keep your tree, it can become a money-saver over time.

Not surprisingly, the National Christmas Tree Association is no fan of artificial trees.  They say fake trees are bad for the environment and our economy.  They love real trees and think they're spectacular.

But others disagree.  The American Christmas Tree Association (who knew there were so many dueling Christmas tree associations?) says in a study that they conducted if you use one artificial tree for at least 9 Christmas seasons it's impact on the environment will be less than if you had cut down a new tree each year.

I used to be a die-hard real tree guy.  Itchy arms.  Stepping on fallen needles.  Tree sap on the ceiling.  None of these things bothered me too much.  Finally, about 5 years ago, I made the switch to a fake tree.  The convenience of having the tree ready to go at anytime has been a time-saver.  Those built-in lights are pretty nice too.