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Christmas trees: 5 reasons to cut your own

12/06/2014 05:00 EST | Updated 02/04/2015 05:59 EST
Running through a forest of evergreens to chop down a Christmas tree not only helps the Canadian economy, but opting for a real tree over an artificial one has other advantages, too.

Shirley Brennan, president of the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association (CCTGA), extols the "memories and health benefits of cutting down your own tree and bringing it into your home."

"You don't have anyone saying, 'Oh, I remember my dad going up to the attic and pulling down the Christmas tree-in-a-box,' but you remember, 'Oh, we got this tree during the snowstorm,' and you remember the family time it took to pick just the right tree."

Jack Oomen, 12, and his little sister, Avery, certainly feel that way.

"I'd way rather run through a pine forest to pick a tree than to get one at Walmart," says Jack.

Avery adds that she likes the fact that "you can look around and find the tree that's just right for you." It was her turn to pick the tree this year and she picked an eight-foot White Spruce from a hundred-acre tree farm near the family's home in Hockley Valley, Ont.

The benefits of cutting your own

Dec. 6 is National Christmas Tree Day, and according to Shirley Brennan six million trees are sold in Canada or exported every year, with Scotts Pine and White Spruce among the most popular varieties.

Here are the top five reasons to cut your own Christmas tree, according to Brennan:

1. Real trees take carbon dioxide out of the air and release oxygen into your home.

2. Real trees create natural aromatherapy. The scent of fresh cut pine improves your mood and fights depression, says Brennan.

3. Everybody has their own idea of the perfect tree. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and going out to find your own is an opportunity to fulfill a creative vision.

4. Cutting your own tree is an excuse for physical exercise in the great outdoors.

5. It's also an excuse for a family to spend some time together away from their electronic devices.

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