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Christmas Tree Lobby Gets Obama in Trouble

Last week, the Obama administration nearly caused the destruction of all that is sacred in America when a 15-cent fee was levied on fresh Christmas trees. Lump of coal for the government.

The tax was levied (and was quickly tossed) after the effective lobbying of the National Christmas Tree Association, which wanted to use the extra money for a marketing campaign. The goal of the campaign: to reverse the slipping sales of real Christmas trees.

Though Obama felt the heat, The Atlantic puts the marketing fail directly at the feet of the Christmas tree group. The story also makes the case for artificial trees, one that consumers have obviously made with their wallets: money savings over the lifetime of the tree (which is forever) and less mess.

The Christmas Tree Association’s website throws everything and the kitchen sink at the fake tree industry to convince you it is evil. They’re made in China (not patriotic!). They’re made out of dangerous materials (these trees will kill you!). And the company that invented fake Christmas trees started with toilet bowl brushes (they put Christmas in the crapper!).

Another page strives to correct misperceptions about real trees, the better strategy. However, the argument about fake trees not really saving money — people typically only get about nine years out of a fake tree– is a weak one. And you’ll still be hard pressed to change the hearts and minds of fake tree lovers who think chopping down a perfectly healthy tree so that it can slowly die for a month is a total bah-humbug.

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