Is your Christmas even real, bro?

Editorial Staff

With the spirit of Christmas upon us, the question of trees lit up with a variety of decorations comes to mind: Should you get a real, fragrant evergreen or a durable, plastic replica?

We understand the idea of liking plastic trees over real trees because there is not a mess. However, there is something missing from the Christmas spirit when the tree in your living room is fake and smells of…absolutely nothing.

It has been scientifically proven that one’s sense of smell is closely connected to the part of the brain that connects memories and emotions. This part of the brain, the limbic system, is often called the “emotional brain,” and the scent-processing center of the brain is linked to it in such a way that it allows you to remember how much you love your grandma whenever you smell chocolate chip cookies baking, remember your annoyance from the day your cousin’s outdoor wedding got rained on whenever you smell wet grass, and remember what it feels like to be surrounded with loving family members at Christmas whenever you smell an evergreen tree.

For this reason, depriving your nose of this scent during the holiday season could actually be depriving your heart of so much more, particularly if you grew up celebrating many joyful Christmases with real trees.

We understand that sometimes people are allergic to certain trees. Still there are some trees that are gentle on allergies such as Fraser Firs. But even if you grew up with artificial trees or no Christmas trees at all, buying an artificial tree this year is preventing you from forming this year’s happy holiday memories around that real evergreen smell.

Additionally, we love the feel of a real Christmas tree’s needles. The slippery and slightly sappy texture of a real needle under your fingers as you place the lights, tinsel and ornaments is much more appealing than the bumpy, rough texture that a plastic tree has. Not to mention, it would make us feel lazy if we put together a fake tree with lights already strung throughout it and plugged it in rather than feeling the pride of decorating an entire tree and topping it with an angel or star.

So at the very least, even if you do not have room for a tree in your home, consider lighting a candle, baking cookies, or hanging and decorating a wreath with your family. Decide on some scent-filled activity this holiday season to give your brain a pleasant scent to latch onto and take you back to those memories whenever you smell it.


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