In the last decade, my husband and I have spent every Christmas but one at the home of one set of our parents or the other. Now that my husband's parents have moved back to Chicago, they are spending Christmas with my side of the family - so I guess I know where we'll be expected to be for every Christmas until further notice.
That being said, my husband and I haven't put up a Christmas tree in our own home since I moved to Boston in 1997. We've had other holiday decorations around the house and our homes happily smelled like evergreens and mulling spices at appropriate times. Our homes have been festive but they have never had a tree in them. It's really starting to bother me.
When I had my condo in Chicago, I had 16 foot ceilings (it was a loft) and I made sure to find myself a huge tree for Christmas. My last one was a Douglas Fir and I loved it. I was so happy when I picked it out and dragged it home with my friends through the streets of Chicago. It smelled great. I was traveling for work during the holidays and a very good friend of mine who lived a block away would stop by my condo to keep my tree watered while I was gone.
My husband and I haven't had a Christmas tree because we have been away from home for at least a week every year at Christmastime. We didn't want our tree to dry out and don't know anyone in Massachusetts who could actually water it for us without much difficulty. The first five years that I was here, we lived in an apartment in the Back Bay, so a fake tree was out of the question because we would have nowhere to stow it after the holidays. Now that we have a house in the suburbs, I suppose we could buy an artificial tree, but we haven't done it yet.
My parents had an artificial tree for Christmas at their home when I was growing up but I always wanted a real one instead. The artificial trees were more practical for them and so they went with them. At the very first opportunity for me to have my own tree, I went out and bought myself a real one. It's just a different experience for me to have a real tree in the home. Maybe I just perceived it differently because I spent so many years wanting a real one that when I got one it emanated some strange aura that only I could see or feel. Maybe it's not an issue of real or artificial - maybe I loved the real trees because they were completely mine as opposed to my parents'. I'm not entirely sure. An artificial tree should be fine as well, I just have to figure out where to store it for 11 months out of the year.
So, IF we buy a tree, we will do it this weekend - and it will most likely be artificial. Hope that's not a mistake.