This cute little Christmas countdown clock in our building lobby reminds me daily that Christmas is fast approaching.

Michael Foth ~ Townsquare Media Billings

If you haven't put up your tree yet, the clock is ticking. Of course, when you use a real tree vs. a fake tree, time is your enemy. If you put it up too soon, you run the risk of it drying out and dropping all of its needles. It's tough to make a real tree last from Thanksgiving to Christmas (although Paul from our Country station has a secret water recipe that he claims helps keep your tree healthy longer).

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Some people prefer a real tree, and I understand why. The experience of taking the family out to the Custer National Forest to cut one down can be memorable. If you're planning on cutting your own tree this weekend, you can find tree permits details HERE. Stop by Red Lodge on the way back into town for some hot toddies or Christmas shopping. I agree, that is pretty fun. And it's tough to beat the fresh piney smell of a real tree. However, we've always rocked a fake tree at my house, and here's why:

  1. I can re-use it for years. Shove it back in the box (sometime in mid January) and it's good to go till next Christmas. What do real trees go for nowadays? $40 - $75 for a decent one? I can get a decent fake tree for like $100 that will last for years.
  2. They don't drop needles. Biggest peeve of a real tree.
  3. They're less of a fire hazard. No matter how much you properly water a real tree, they always dry out. See number 2.
  4. They're available pre-lit. This is such a nice feature. No hassles dealing with tangled up bundles of lights. Just snap the tree segments together and plug it in.
  5. Sizing and styles. Real trees are sometimes too big. You get it home, cut the strings, and suddenly that tree you thought would fit your spot in the living room is much bigger than you thought it would be. Think Griswold. With fake trees, you can get a tall skinny one! Or a little 3 footer. Whatever. They make them in every shape, style, size and budget.
  6. They look better. I know this is subjective, but a lot of the trees you cut yourself in the forest are pretty thin looking. Sometimes the ones from the tree lots have weird flat spots or empty spaces. A fake tree is always perfectly shaped.

Take our poll and let us know if you prefer REAL or FAKE.

LOOK: 20 tips to help your houseplants survive the winter