The Surprising Reason You Should Have A Real Christmas Tree In Your Home

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When it comes to the holiday season, there is no symbol greater than a Christmas tree. More than 94 million households in the United States put up Christmas trees every single year, according to American Christmas Tree Association. That's a whole lot of holiday cheer, my friend. While tons of families across the country agree on putting up a festive tree, there is always a debate between which type is better. When it comes down to the age old battle of real versus artificial tree, it turns out that it's a matter of science — not just public opinion.

There are clear ups and downs to each type of tree. While artificial ones save you tons of time and, ultimately, money as well, the joy of going to pick out a real tree each year needs to be factored in as well. If you get a real Christmas tree, you'll need to be prepared to actually take care of the living thing. No matter where you land on the spectrum of real versus fake trees, there are positives and negatives to each.

It turns out that, scientifically speaking, there's actually more benefits to getting a real tree. Once you hear why, you might decide to switch up your holiday traditions

Real Christmas trees can help your mental health

If you're always on the side of a real tree when it comes to the holiday debate, what we're about to tell you will give you a leg up in the conversation. According to CNN, having a real Christmas tree in your house has positive mental health benefits. Charlie Hall, professor and Ellison chair in the department of horticultural sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, tells the publication that the positive benefits include reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. 

It might even boost your family dynamic as well. "People tend to be compassionate in the presence of live plants in the house, and of course Christmas trees fit the bill," Hall tells CNN (via Texas A&M University). After the past few years that we've all had, everyone could use a little boost. 

Unfortunately, this good news also couples with some not so great news. The price of real Christmas trees went up by 25% for 2021 (via Commercial Appeal). So while there are a ton of benefits of having a real tree inside the home, it will cost you. According to the American Christmas Tree Association, the average cost of a real tree this year lands at $78 dollars, which, in the grand scheme of things, is a small price to pay for happiness. 

Picking out your own tree has added benefits

Of course, when you consider that having real plants around the house has tons of benefits, having a real Christmas tree makes total sense. Just having a potted plant alone in your house can help relieve your stress and get you through an illness (via Healthline). However, it turns out that it's not just about having the tree inside your house.

A trip to a Christmas tree farm actually amps up the positive benefits as well. According to CNN, going to pick out your very own Christmas tree with loved ones makes for a happy memory. You know, as long as you guys can all agree on a tree and avoid family arguments in the car on the way there. 

You'll want to take a big whiff while you're there, too. The smell of a Christmas tree has it's own added benefits as well, especially when it makes you think of all the positive memories associated with that scent. "How they affect us can depend not only upon the chemical properties associated with the trees oils, but also upon the memories, if any, we associate with the smell," psychologist Sonja Peterson-Lewis tells CNN.

An artificial tree is better than no tree at all

If you're still not ready to jump on the tradition of buying your own Christmas tree, there's still a way to get some mental health benefits this holiday season. Professor Charlie Hall tells CNN that having an artificial tree in the home could provide some of the same health affects as a real tree. He says it's because the fake trees on the market have become so real-looking lately.

The publication also suggest sticking some of those little pine scented tree sticks to put on your Christmas tree, especially if the scent brings back great memories for you. Thankfully, the sticks are only $8 on Amazon, which is a whole lot less expensive than buying a real tree. All-in-all, getting an artificial tree is better than having no tree in your house this holiday season. 

After having the same holiday traditions year after year, it's nice to be reminded that they can literally boost your spirits like all the songs say.