Christmas time a is a truly beautiful season, with elaborate window displays, holiday markets, and some serious present shopping. But the price of the holidays has been changing as the economy fluctuates. When it comes to Christmas trees, there has been a dramatic price increase. Christmas trees are now on average 10 percent more expensive than they were last year, and they are also harder to find.
Why the price increase?
The National Christmas Tree Association polled Christmas-tree shoppers to find the median amount they spent on Christmas trees, and they found it to be $74 with the group surveyed. One reason for the price increase is that 7 to 10 years ago, there were not as many trees planted as the fake tree industry spiked. Nearly ten years ago America also was in the deepest economic recession the country had seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Holiday shoppers generally spent less, so, in turn, Christmas-tree farmers planted less because their sales also slumped.
What is better? A real or fake tree?
The drop in the amount of Christmas trees is also a reflection of millennials’ search for efficiency. Traditionally, millennial shoppers buy artisan and local products, but the majority of millennials, including myself, have purchased artificial trees. Of the estimated 95 million American homes, only 19 percent are expected to have real trees. However, as more millennials have children and advance their millennial budget, it is predicted that more of them will buy real trees due to the traditional aspect of a Christmas tree. In general, families with young children are more likely to opt for the real tree compared to millennials with no children.
Millennial shoppers should know that despite some claims, fake trees are actually worse for the environment. Most plastic trees are PVC plastic, which is not biodegradable, and that only adds more man-made toxins into the environment. A household would need to use a plastic tree for 20 years to make it more eco-friendly than a real one. Real Christmas trees can be turned into mulch, or added to compost piles, so they naturally disappear into the natural world.
The greenest option for millennials when it comes to trees is to purchase a real one from a farm near them. However, if you cannot afford to add a new Christmas tree into your millennial budget every season, consider getting a U.S.-made fake tree that will last more than 20 years to ensure it is an environmentally conscious purchase.
Christmas trees have become a holiday staple, but the effects of the country’s last major economic recession had a lasting impact on this particular tradition. The Christmas tree is a symbol of the domino effect that we experience when the economy takes a tumble.
Millennial shoppers also have strayed away from the real trees and are now opting for fake ones. If you are shopping for a tree this year, check out what works best for your millennial budget. If possible, purchase a locally grown real tree or invest in one that will last for seasons to come.
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