Head to Head: Real Deal or Fake Stake?

Two Accolade reporters weigh in on this holiday debate to help those still trying to figure out what type of holiday tree to buy.

December 9, 2021

Plastic Trees pollute the holiday season

A forest green pine tree decked head-to-toe in luminous lights.

Such a scene encapsulates my impression of the much anticipated holiday season next month.

For the past 15 years, my family and I took pleasure in revising our annual Christmas itinerary by including new, entertaining activities to fully embrace the weeks leading up to Dec. 25, but our visit to the Sonshine Christmas Tree farm in La Habra was one that never left the list.

From my family and I opening presents seated underneath the pine needles to my mom topping it with the star, the real Yuletide staple alone evokes a chest of hidden holiday memories, yet something about mindlessly wandering around the farm alongside my parents and younger brother remains as an irreplaceable tradition.

The Christmas tree we haul into our home every first of December places the bright red bow on my family’s holiday season package and, without it, my holiday would not be quite so merry.

An artificial plastic tree may be the more convenient route for a family of busy, working parents who find the journey to purchasing the perfect, authentic log bothersome; however, though laborious, my past experiences prove the trip to the farm to be quite worth it.

The tree — with its natural woody musk and scent of freshly trimmed pine — brings with it a tradition that will forever remain in the recollections my brother and I hold of the winter season, and for that, I believe putting in the extra effort to dole out the $50 for the real deal will turn out in everyone’s favor.

About the Writer
Photo of Kate Yang
Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Kate Yang spent her junior year serving as web managing editor of The Accolade. This year, she returns as editor-in-chief and looks forward to working with her new staff and top editors. Yang joined The Accolade as a sophomore after taking the prerequisite class, Journalism 1, as a freshman. She has earned several Best of SNO awards for her stories beginning her sophomore year, some including the reopening of Sunny Hills amid the pandemic and the AP score dilemma following the first online administered exams. Outside of The Accolade, Yang runs several clubs and plays golf for the SH girls golf team. She is an International Baccalaureate student and a Link Crew leader this year. Yang hopes to see more students this year pick up physical copies of The Accolade as well as visit the online website.
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Dead branches stick and poke at Xmas fun

Nothing represents the winter holiday season more than watching the blue garbage truck haul away the decaying, “memory-filled” Christmas tree.

Nearly 15 million of these plants annually wind up in the landfill according to the National Environmental Education Foundation

As a dedicated plant mom, my family’s first and only real tree, purchased the previous year, convinced me of the drawbacks of caring for a leeching organism that dehydrates our water bills.

While for the typical American family, shopping for such a Yuletide log has become a spirited ritual if not the highlight of the season, I don’t mind that my family’s tradition is rooted in our annual dig into our garage where our $40 white stubby 4-foot purchase awaits its debut back into our cramped living room. 

Although the idea of a pine-scented grandiose tree sounds tempting, my family prioritizes environmental consciousness over superficial decorations.

A yearly purchase of a real, 7-foot towering monstrosity is one that the Sheen family will never willingly add onto our measly holiday budget; buy one fake guy, and we’re good for another 10 years.

So this holiday season, go plastic that will save not only family expenses, but also warm the hearts of my fellow plant enthusiasts.

About the Writer
Photo of Irene Sheen
Irene Sheen, Special Sections Editor
After spending her first year on The Accolade as one of the social media managers, junior Irene Sheen is beyond excited to contribute to the award-winning publication as the next special sections editor. Within her time on staff during the 2022-2023 school year, Sheen hopes to expand her writing portfolio and expertise, and most importantly, guide conversations on social and cultural issues through her compelling special sections pages.

Outside of Room 138, Sheen fuels her love for political discourse with her fellow Junior State of America members on a local and state-wide level. During her free time, she enjoys binging movies, baking bread, jamming to music and tending to her plants.
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