It's not all about the looks.

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Fake Christmas trees invite a lot of debate. Holiday purists like to knock the artificial trees as much as possible. It's just not the same. It won't look like a real tree. It won't smell like a real tree. I have heard all the arguments and I can sympathize with them. I have also always considered myself a Christmas purist until last year when I realized that buying an artificial Christmas tree could help me get a little more into the holiday spirit. Typically, I travel home over the holidays for at least a week, which is why I never put up a tree. I weighed the real Christmas tree arguments and decided I was willing to give up the fresh pine scent and the lush, slightly irregular looking shape to bring the holiday spirit to my house. I caved on Black Friday and ordered a fake Christmas tree from a big website. One week later it arrived. I opened it up eagerly, only to realize for the first time that…

Give fake Christmas trees a touch-test before you buy.

Mine feels so fake. I purchased my artificial tree on a deal for $150 marked down from $200. In my book, that's a lot of money to be spending on a Christmas tree. I was expecting something high quality. To be honest though, I had not thought about what the tree would feel like, but it should not feel like this. The needles on the tree that I bought feel are a flimsy, opaque plastic and they carry a lot of powdery residue that rubs off on your hands and clothes as you assemble your tree. These bad faux needles are attached to bendable wires that look a little extraterrestrial unless assembled and then fluffed several times over.

WATCH: Make a Shiny Ornament Wreath

My best artificial Christmas tree tip?

Buy it in person or at least try and go see a few in stores before you commit to a Christmas tree that you have never seen. I saw a cheaper, better feeling fake tree in Hobby Lobby when I buying ornaments for my scratchy, chalky feeling tree.

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