4 / -9
      18 / -15
      28 / 18

      Are you decorating a real or artificial Christmas tree this year?

      Few things kindle the holiday spirit like a decorated Christmas tree. And people shopping for them are facing a perennial question: real or fake?

      It may not be the greener choice, but many of our Facebook viewers choose artificial.

      "I prefer the fake as no needles to clean up, no forgetting to water it, and at the end of the season, you don't have a dead tree to dispose of," said Mary Adams.

      It seems the real evergreens have become like a Charlie Brown Christmas episode. But according to the National Christmas Tree Association, 27 million real trees were sold in the United States last year. That compares to 8.2 million artificial ones.

      That means many are keeping the Christmas tradition alive.

      "The fresh tree--the smell in the home that is definitely the big thing about it, you just don't get that with a fake tree," said Eric Meister, owner of Meister's Christmas Trees.

      A real pine tree may not be ideal for everyone. If allergies and asthma dominate your home, an artificial tree is the answer.

      "That way they can still have a tree and still celebrate Christmas even though they're not able to have a real tree in the house," said Lowe's Lawn & Garden specialist Nancy Peterson.

      Peterson said there are other advantages also.

      "They're stiffer sometimes than the real tree, so some of your really expensive glass ornaments will hang on easier," Peterson said.

      Then, consider the costs and longevity of your evergreen. Real ones typically last four weeks ; a n artificial one can live in a box for years.

      " They 're a little expensive-more expensive than the live trees initially, but you can use them year after year after year , so you 're actually going to be saving money in the long run ," Peterson said.