The Cost of Christmas Trees
I've always been conflicted about buying Christmas trees. There are pros and cons to anything, and Christmas-tree-buying is no exception.
On the pro side, Christmas trees are inexpensive, smell DAMN good, and.... well... that's about all I can think of. On the con side, the same trees are sticky, create a huge mess of needles each year, require daily watering to avoid becoming a fire hazard, and are usually lopsided. Plus, I just feel really terrible about cutting down a tree for the sole purpose of hanging man-made shit all over it, practically torturing it, as it slowly dies in my living room.
It would seem, by my list, that the cons outweigh the pros. However, the "cheap" issue holds a lot of weight. Then again, what is "cheap"?
When Christmas trees could be bought at Home Depot for a decent $17, I never would have considered a fake tree. After all, there are a lot of cons to fake trees, not the least of which is how bloody fake they look. But when trees sold by the exact same Home Depot suddenly rocket to $28, an increase of 40% in one year, fake trees look all the more appealing.
Is $17 cheap?
Is $28 cheap?
What if you had to spend $17 every year until the end of time? Is $600 cheap? What if it was a one-time cost, and the tree would last until the core of the earth turned to ice?
Fake trees can be bought for as little as $50, and as much as $600 in my city. The $50 trees resemble plastic garbage bags while the $600 trees look like Danny McGee (who was up his 59th tree) just cut them down a few minutes ago.
Suz and I considered a $500 tree which Sears had on sale for 50% off. At $250, it would take 9 years of real-tree purchases, assuming the $28 price remained constant, to pay for itself. But if prices continue to rise by 40% per year, in only 5 years real trees will cost $150.
In the end we decided we couldn't afford an extra $250 this time of year. We settled for the $28 tree and rammed the 8-foot bastard into the trunk of the Snore-us.
Even without a fold-down rear seat, the SHO swallowed the tree like a pro. It was a heck of a lot easier than what we had to do with the Crapalier last year. And by this time next year, we'll hopefully have a very lovely fake tree.