Real Christmas trees carry many health benefits - DatelineCarolina

Real Christmas trees carry many health benefits

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Tim Barnett, Columbia resident, loves owning a real Christmas tree to celebrate the holidays with his wife Ashley and their 4-month-old son, Eric. Tim Barnett, Columbia resident, loves owning a real Christmas tree to celebrate the holidays with his wife Ashley and their 4-month-old son, Eric.
Alberto Maydeu-Olivares, University of South Carolina professor of psychology, believes that owning a real tree is better for your mental health. Alberto Maydeu-Olivares, University of South Carolina professor of psychology, believes that owning a real tree is better for your mental health.
Bryan Price, owner of Price's Christmas Tree Farm in Lexington, says real Christmas trees make him feel better at work and at home. Bryan Price, owner of Price's Christmas Tree Farm in Lexington, says real Christmas trees make him feel better at work and at home.
Jonathan Garris, employee at Price's Christmas Tree Farm, says that because he's around real Christmas trees, he hasn't taken a flu shot in 5 to 6 years. Jonathan Garris, employee at Price's Christmas Tree Farm, says that because he's around real Christmas trees, he hasn't taken a flu shot in 5 to 6 years.

By Kenneil Mitchell
CAROLINA REPORTER & NEWS

Christmas trees have been a long-standing tradition to celebrate the holidays, but many don’t know the power they hold to better your health.

A study from HortTechnology looked into the health benefits real Christmas trees can give to those that aren’t allergic. The study found that owning a real Christmas tree can increase your mood, lower anxiety and decrease chances of getting a cold or flu.

Alberto Maydeu-Olivares, a USC psychology professor, says he agrees with the findings of the study, conducted by two Kansas State University professors. He pointed out the psychological impact of caring for plants, which like Christmas trees, lighten people's spirits. 

"It may help us improve our mood," Maydeu-Olivares said. "Feel more relaxed and act warmer towards other human beings."

He believes owning a real Christmas tree is more mentally healthy for people than an artificial tree.

"I think that having an artificial tree is very sad," Maydeu-Olivares said. "After all, it's plastic and you can tell it's plastic. So maybe you feel that your life is not real."

Bryan Price, who has owned Price's Christmas Tree Farm for 34 years, says being around real Christmas trees has had a lasting positive impact on him.

"It creates a better mood in the house," Price said. "Anytime that you feel better, you're in a better mood, your blood pressure is good and everything. And that right there, is good for your health."

Jonathan Garris, an employee of Price's Christmas Tree Farm, has felt the health effects of being around real Christmas trees for years.

"I think it's awesome because the trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen," Garris said. "I haven't taken a flu shot in probably 5 to 6 years."

Tim Barnett of Columbia says that he and his wife, Ashley, family love the feeling that a real tree brings. "We've always gotten a fresh tree ever since I was a child," Barnett said. "I think it's just more real."

Barnett said his 4-month-old son Eric is celebrating his first Christmas, and is already intrigued by the big Christmas tree and its ornaments.

"He wants to grab it of course because that's his natural instinct," Barnett said.

Barnett says he loves having the real thing in his living room as it brightens his family's day every time they see it.

"You can smell it when you wake up in the morning," Barnett said. "I think it just fills the air, just makes you feel great. Like you're walking through the woods."

If you want to know more about live Christmas trees, go here.

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