Despite the allure of bringing home a fresh-cut Christmas tree from a local farm, some prefer to hit the stores for an artificial alternative. At Lowe's in McCandless, which sells both live and artificial trees, inside seasonal manager Clint Brown said artificial trees are very popular.
Convenience and cleanliness are what he said attract most of his customers to buy a boxed tree. Those are the reasons that he puts up an artificial tree at his home each year.
"I can take it out of the box the day after Thanksgiving and put it up," he said. "I don't have to worry about it dying beforehand, keeping it watered and needles falling on the ground."
He also touted the benefits of purchasing a pre-lit tree and said that many of his customers share his sentiment: the simpler, the better.
"A lot of customers have the same thought I do, which is that I don't want to sit there and wrap lights around it," he said. "All they have to do is put it together, throw some ornaments on it, and they're good to go."
When it comes to lights, Mr. Brown said most of his customers shy away from those that twinkle and blink and opt instead for those that offer a constant glow. The biggest diversity seems to involve the choice of white or colored lights.
As for whether sales of artificial trees eclipse those of live trees, Mr. Brown said it's hard to tell and that sales of both are typically even by the end of the season.
-- By Shannon M. Nass