Would You Rather?

Real Christmas tree or artificial? New Yorkers are split

Real trees are aromatic and pretty, but they're also a pain to clean up.


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There’s something special about strolling to your corner Christmas tree vendor and picking out just the right tree for the living room. On the other hand, those trees aren’t cheap, and they can be messy, and a pain to get rid of. Do New Yorkers prefer real or fake trees when Christmas time rolls around? We asked five to weigh in.

A real tree is worth the schlep

“Let’s just say it took three of us to carry my North Carolina born-and-bred tree into my building. Standing seven feet tall and wider than I can measure, it now feels like the great outdoors in my studio apartment. I love it!”–Nanci Grasso, Upper East Side

I don’t miss the cleanup

“I prefer a fake tree simply because there is no mess. When there aren’t any pine needles on the floor, there’s less cleanup for me to do.”—Peter Mancini, Bay Ridge

Skipping the fuss

“This year I opted for a realistic-looking artificial tree, although normally I purchase a real tree from Mazzone’s in Brooklyn. The pre-lit tree saved me time decorating, and because I already juggle balancing family and work life, it made my life easier. Everyone loved the tree, and I didn’t stress over the time needed to decorate, so everyone is happy which makes my season even merrier!”—Veronica Livia, Carroll Gardens

Fake trees are like fake news… sad!

“If I didn’t want a mess or the smell of spruce in my apartment I’d get a fake tree. But that would be the same as not having my family over for Christmas dinner and where's the fun in that?!”—Robert Ramirez, Bushwick

Let’s keep it real

“I’m all about the Christmas spirit, and even though I live in a tight-space NYC apartment, a real (tiny) tree is the way to go. There’s nothing better than picking out, cutting down, and decorating a fresh-smelling Christmas tree!”—Cristen Monty, East Williamsburg

The verdict: It’s a close call, but a majority of these New Yorkers don't subscribe to a fake it till you make it mentality.


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