Faking it

Do you fake it, or do you hold out for a real one?

We might be embarrassed to admit it, but I bet we’ve all had at least one fake before.  I know it’s not just about efficiency but I’m a busy woman, so I must confess I find fakes very tempting.  Let’s face it, they’re quicker, and nine times out of ten no one even notices.  As long as you’ve made some sort of effort, you’ll get away with it.  When it’s over, you just need a quick wipe clean (they tend to leave very little mess) and life can go back to normal.  Job done.

Real ones, on the other hand, are atrociously mucky and personally I find it takes ages for me to get them right.  A tweak this way, a turn that, endless fiddling, poking and prodding before it’s even vaguely acceptable.  The real thing is a one-off event that takes quite some effort, and every time you want one you have to start from scratch.  When eventually the event is over, I’m appalled to look down and find a monumental amount of debris.  Where does it come from? And how does it manage to spread itself out of the doorway, down the hall, and into the dog’s water bowl?  I swear to god that’s what happened to me last time I had a real one.  I was wiping stuff off the skirting board for months.

Real or fake, as you approach them it’s always a disappointment if the surroundings are bare, and here again is where the natural ones are difficult. Decorative bling tends to be quite uniform and hard to attach to an abundance of wayward undergrowth.  Fakes tend to be surrounded by smooth, even growth, which allows for any numbers of sparkly adornments in a variety of interesting patterns.

Smell is another factor.  Real ones do have a lovely aroma, and if you’re lucky enough to fit in a really big one you can smell it all over the house.  Mine was surrounded by some quite heavy foliage but trimming down its glorious bushiness seemed a bit of a shame so I held back with the strimmer, making the smell all the more powerful.

Overall, there are lots of practical reasons for a good fake – and yet I find they leave you feeling very slightly disappointed; wondering whether things wouldn’t have been just that bit more magical if you’d made a little extra effort.  And let’s face it, one isn’t really supposed to indulge in such artifice.  These days it’s all about slowing things down and doing it the natural way.

So.  What sort of tree are you getting this year?