Christmas Tree Tax Isn't Solving the 'Real' Problem

christmas treeIt's almost Thanksgiving, so you know what that means -- time to start focusing on Christmas. Lord knows Target, CVS, and every other drug-type store is. But you know who else is fixated on Christmas right now? President Barack Obama. Or, as some are referring to him as, President Scrooge McDuck.

Yesterday, the US Department of Agriculture gave the "OK" to a Christmas tree "tax," which will charge American growers and importers of Douglas-firs and such 15 cents. The money is expected to raise $2 million, which will then go towards a campaign that will push purchasing real trees over fake ones, because sales of live ones are apparently down.

People (who hate Obama) are up in arms about this charge. One blogger said, "The economy is barely growing ... Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do?"

I, for one, don't really care about the tax. But isn't cutting down massive amounts of trees in bulk -- before anyone agrees to buy them -- like, bad for the environment?


I grew up on real trees. I love real trees. Three years ago when my parents told my sister and I that they were "going fake" (fake and pre-lit, I might add), I was incensed. "A fake tree?! That's so not Christmas-y! What about the smell? The touch?" And then last year, when my husband and I finally had a place with enough room that allowed us to get a "big" tree, we went real. And it was glorious. For 30 magical days, we basked in the glow of an actual Christmas tree of our own -- and the intoxicating scent that wafted from it.

But, a few days after Christmas, when we were driving around our neighborhood, I noticed something. There were still tons of trees that remained at stands and such -- unbought. And who's going to buy a tree after Christmas? Even if it is only $10? These trees were cut down for naught. And that seems pretty damn taboo in the green, green world we currently live in.

So, tax or no tax, I think Obama is focusing on the wrong aspect of Christmas trees. I think he should implement a law that requires people to cut down their trees before purchasing them. Well, they don't have to cut them down themselves per se, but someone who cuts stuff down professionally should have to. Having a mass tree cutting just doesn't seem like a good idea in today's "save the trees" day and age. It seems like some sort of agricultural genocide, like the "puppy mill" of the tree world.

So, I've convinced myself. This year my husband and I will drive to a tree farm and have our special guy chopped down before our very eyes. No more of this side of the road stand business. It's better for the environment. Plus, you usually can't get hot chocolate at a stand.

Do you get a real tree or a fake tree?


Image via Ed Bierman/Flickr

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