HOWELL, Mich. — Joy to the world indeed. Turns out there is a simple way to stimulate the feeling of joy in yourself: Just breathe in the olfactory offering of a real Christmas tree. According to the Real Christmas Tree Board, when respondents to a nationwide survey were asked to choose how they feel when they smell a real Christmas tree, respondents chose “Joyful” more than any other emotion (42% of real tree purchasers and 39% of all those surveyed). Runner-up choices included “merry,” “nostalgic,” “calm,” and “thankful.”1 Not a bad return-on-sniff at a time when we could all use a little less of the stressful feels and a little more of the good ones.
Consumers’ favorite smell of the season is the smell of “Christmas itself.”
In the same survey, four out of five respondents (81%) agreed that “real Christmas trees smell like Christmas” itself. 1 And 48% of those who bought a real tree last year said their top reason for doing so is they love the scent. 1
When asked to rank various scents associated with Christmas, respondents said a real Christmas tree is their favorite smell of the season (56%) — putting it ahead of cookies (50%), cinnamon (50%), hot cocoa (45%), and gingerbread (43%). Peppermint came in at 42%, followed by open fire (37%), and roasted chestnuts (16%).1 That probably explains why most of us can think of a bunch of Christmas carols that talk Tannenbaum, and not more than one that refers to those roasting nuts.
“Joy to the Real” campaign heralds the “perfectly imperfect” journey to real Christmas tree joy.
“We’re all about real,” said Marsha Gray, executive director of the Real Christmas Tree Board. “So, naturally it’s important to us to spotlight the real moments that become cherished memories, and not some staged vision of an unobtainable experience.”
Toward that end, the RCTB solicited real-life videos from real-life, real-tree fans, from shopping for the tree and getting it home, to setting it up and decorating, to flipping on the lights. The result is a snapshot of all the little things that make the big memories. Watch the video to see for yourself.
The “Joy to the Real” campaign will appear on social media and in select digital ads.
“We believe the journey makes the joy,” said Gray. “And that’s what we’re focusing on in the ‘Joy to the Real’ Campaign. It’s rooted in the insight that an artificial Christmas tree is a product, whereas a real Christmas tree is something else entirely. In a previous nationwide survey, 76% of respondents told us that’s how they see it. They think of real Christmas trees as an experience, not just a product.2”
“We like to say that real tree experiences create joy in the moment, traditions over the years, and memories that last a lifetime,” she added.
Real-tree converts seem to agree. 78% of those who previously bought an artificial tree, but tried a real one instead in 2021, say they wish they had started buying real sooner. 1
On the fence about converting to real? The RCTB says consider this:
- Real Christmas trees are grown — not manufactured. So they can return to the earth as naturally as they came from it. Because they are biodegradable, they can be recycled or reused for mulch. Plus, for every real Christmas tree farmers harvest, they plant at least one new tree.
- Real Christmas trees are grown to be harvested. They’re just like pumpkins for Halloween or salad ingredients for dinner. They’re not taken from the wild, so there’s no harm in taking them home.
- Each tree is unique — just like you. Part of the joy of each Christmas is finding your special tree and knowing that it will be perfect — and perfectly different — every time. What makes a perfect tree for one person may be different for another person. The 2022 survey showed that people consider a lot of factors: height, fullness, overall shape, scent, color, species, width, even trunk diameter! 1
Find your joy at RealChristmasTreeBoard.com
The RCTB wants people to know that there’s a real Christmas tree for everyone who wants one. Visit RealChristmasTreeBoard.com for a special retail locator, a guide to the different kinds of real Christmas trees, care tips, and more.
The board recommends shoppers plan their Christmas tree shopping trip in advance and consider trying a different species this year. Trends are changing and sizes and species vary by region and retailer. For the greatest selection and availability, shop the first two weeks of the season, starting the day after Thanksgiving. As Christmas gets closer, some retailers may close early or have a reduced selection while others may have just what you’re looking for.
1 TRUE Global Intelligence (TGI), the in-house research practice of FleishmanHillard, fielded a survey of n=1,500 American adults ages 21 to 49 years. All survey respondents celebrate or observe Christmas and either decide or share in the decision of whether and what kind of Christmas tree to put up in their home each year or influence their home’s decisionmaker. The survey was fielded from May 26 to June 13, 2022. The survey has a margin of error of ±2.5% and higher for subgroups.
2 TGI also fielded a survey of n=2,019 American adults ages 21 to 49 years from July 6 to July 10, 2020. All respondents to the survey celebrate or observe Christmas and either decide or share in the decision of whether and what kind of Christmas tree to put up in their home each year or influence their home’s decisionmaker. The survey has a margin of error of ±2.2% and higher for subgroups.
Know Your Sources
The Real Christmas Tree Board (RCTB) is the media’s expert resource for insights about farm-grown Christmas tree. Chartered in 2015 as the Christmas Tree Promotion Board and renamed in 2022, it is a national research and promotion program whose mission is to share the benefits of fresh Christmas trees with consumers through promotion and public relations, while engaging in research to better serve our customers and growers. The USDA provides oversight of the RCTB to ensure transparency, accuracy, and fairness in its communications. The RCTB provides the media and public with accurate information, added insights, and the latest news and inspiration for the season. It represents real Christmas trees sold in the United States and is supported through annual assessments paid by any business growing or importing 500 or more real Christmas trees. This press release was developed and distributed by the RCTB. Search “Real Christmas Tree Board” online and visit RealChristmasTreeBoard.com
National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) founded in 1955, is the national trade association and advocacy organization for the farm-grown Christmas tree industry leading its public policy/governmental affairs and serving as the “voice of the industry.” NCTA represents hundreds of active member farms, 38 state and regional associations, and thousands of affiliated businesses that grow and sell Christmas trees or provide related services. Each year, since 1966, an NCTA member has presented the official White House Christmas tree to the First Lady which is displayed in the Blue Room. NCTA is also a trusted media resource on farm-grown Christmas trees.
American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) does not represent real Christmas trees or growers. It is a 501(c)(3) corporation established in 2009 and has no known members representing the real Christmas tree industry. Thomas Harman3 is CEO of ACTA and is also the founder and CEO of Balsam Hill, a seller of artificial Christmas trees.4 The majority of artificial Christmas trees are manufactured overseas.5
–Real Christmas Tree Board