The last time I bought a real Christmas tree was thirty years ago.  I cut it down myself with a buck saw.  I ended up buying an artificial tree not long afterward, which I still have.  I paid about 55 dollars for it at a big box store.  A choice I made for a couple of practical reasons.  There are relatives in my family with allergies and asthma, and real trees aren’t friendly to those people.

There are years I don’t put up a tree.  If nobody is coming for Christmas, why bother?  Environmentalists can debate the merits of real versus artificial.  Both I’ve discovered leave needles on the floor.  Both attract cats even more than catnip.  The manufacturing and disposal of fake trees is considered a sin against the planet.  At least you can safely recycle the real McCoy.  However, if I’ve had the imitation for 30 years, then who has the stronger argument?

The question I’m asking this year is, is 80 dollars excessive for a real tree?  Maybe it’s inflation.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t needed one, but I could buy some nice presents for the cost of the pine.

People online recommend paying the smaller fee and cutting down my own.  Of course, you need to factor in the cost of fuel, and if you don’t have a saw, at least the one-time price for the tool.

I believe part of the cost for the trees being sold on lots is related to the distance the trees have traveled.  North Carolina is the biggest producer of the pines, but most of what we see locally comes from places to our west.  Primarily Washington in our case.

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