Today we brought a tree home. This year it is a Balsam. I'll post another picture of the tree once it is decorated.
I have always felt a little guilty about using a real tree at Christmas time. Cutting down a tree just for a couple weeks decoration... but the smell and tradition always convinces me otherwise. A few months ago, I found on article in This Old House that reaches out the guilty "treehugger" in me. It describes how you can buy a live tree in the fall and prepare it for it's X-mas debut, and then preserve it until it can be planted. The article can be found here. Living in Wisconsin, it would require more planning/preparation on our part, but I would think it would be a neat tradition to start. Maybe next year... remind me about October to start thinking about it. :-)