How to choose the right Christmas tree for your home

  • 21.November 2018
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Christmas time is coming, along with all the seasonal staples: the Santas, the lights and the tinsel to decorate your home. And of course, the singular and most recognisable icon of the season—the Christmas Tree!

We know that picking up a Christmas tree for your home can be tricky business, with all the different options, but we’re here to try break it down for you, to really help you make the right choice!

Natural vs. Artificial

Let’s tackle our biggest debate. Some people like the genuine thing, others don’t care as long as it does the job. In recent years, natural fir trees started to be sold as Christmas trees in Malta—while some people thought this silly, others still bought them in numbers.

So why do people think this is silly? Well, cut trees will eventually die, so you’ll only get to use your tree once, and given Malta’s climate, they’ll last even less longer. Furthermore, they need much more maintenance—they need a stand, water or moisture at the base, cleaning up falling needles, not to mention having to cut it up to throw away. On the plus side, they are truly beautiful and will make a memorable Christmas tree.

Artificial trees come in many shapes and sizes. You can buy a basic tinsel tree or a really good imitation, with much of the difference being its quality and price. You can buy a regular ‘life-size’ tree or else a pre-lit one with fibre optics to light up, without having to buy separate lights. They’re not as beautiful as the real thing and a good quality tree will cost much more than a real one.

However, artificial trees can be repacked and reused, don’t shed and can last for a long time as well as withstand abuse from children and pets alike (we all know what they get up to!). Don’t forget to make sure you buy a fire-resistant and fire-retardant tree.

Outdoor vs. Indoor

Can you have an outdoor Christmas tree? Sure you can! You’ll just need to think it through… Both a natural and an artificial tree are suitable, but of course, a cut fir tree outside will go brown in less than a week. An artificial tree will fare better, but keep in mind to secure it properly. Think about an electrical outlet for the lights, or perhaps get solar lights.

This is where it gets creative: Christmas trees don’t have to be traditional fir trees. You can use any big tree, especially if the tree is a local. Citrus trees, Hibiscus trees and Olive trees are all good trees to hang a light on for a season…


Artificial trees might not be the most environmentally-friendly option as you are bound to get rid of them eventually, so why not opt for a real tree? Most of the natural Christmas trees in Malta are imported from Italy, so you needn’t worry about affecting our landscape. However, if you’re not too keen on this idea, you could always create your own unique tree by using recycled materials such as plastic bottles, paper packaging, or even books!

Isaac Azzopardi
Post by Isaac Azzopardi

Isaac Azzopardi is a young artist living and working from the Mediterranean island of Malta. His practice uses notions of alchemy, materiality and colour through painting, installation and sculpture to explore the transformative elements of contemporary urban life.