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Don't Buy a Christmas Tree! Rent One Instead

girl and Christmas tree
Why bother with the hassle of buying a huge Christmas tree when you can rent one that's decorated and delivered to your door? Regine Mahaux/Getty Images

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Thanks to the advent of a little thing called the internet, renting is the new buying. Sites like Rent the Runway let shoppers borrow high-end designer styles, because, let's face it, who really wants to hold on to a holiday party dress for more than one season? Amazon and other sites let students rent textbooks, because, again, very few among us would eagerly reread chapters on undergraduate microbiology to pass the time (but no judgement if that's your thing!).

But while you may feel just fine borrowing fancy clothes or required reading, how cool would you be with renting something a bit more unusual ... like a Christmas tree?

A company straightforwardly called Rent a Living Christmas Tree is now offering a system it calls "eco-friendly and convenient." Since 2009, the family-owned Central California business has been loaning out live, potted and hand-trimmed trees for those seeking a temporary hint of holiday festivity.

While one could argue any form of holiday fauna is temporary, Rent a Christmas Tree says that because their products are potted early with their roots grown intact, they remain healthier, live longer, and are therefore fit to return to their nursery and continue feeding the wildlife ecosystem. According to the website, the unique system allows the trees to continue growing after the holidays and return to the forest where they "continue to produce oxygen."

Rent a Living Christmas Tree isn't the only company offering trees for lease — Rent-a-Christmas plays down the eco-friendly angle and instead emphasizes the convenience factor. The New York City-based husband and wife business "help local families, friends, business operators and global brands focus on what matters most by providing an easy, affordable Christmas decorating solution," according to their website. In addition to living tree rentals, the company offers artificial trees, holiday lights, wreaths and a slew of other seasonal decorations.

If the appeal of going green and/or saving some time and sanity appeals to you, you may be wondering how much a tree rental will set you back. That all depends, of course, on stature — and in the case of Christmas tree pricing, size really does matter. A lot.

Rent a Living Christmas Tree offers 3-foot (.9-meter) Nordmann Firs for the reasonable cost of $35, all the way up to an 11-foot (3.3-meter) Deodar Cedar for $235. New Yorkers will have to dole out a whole lot more if they're planning to use Rent-a-Christmas (though their trees will come with lights, ornaments, skirt, star and tinsel, and all packages include free delivery, set up, take-down and removal). Their 4-foot (1.2-meter) Frasier Fir rentals are $600, while the 9-foot (2.7-meter) version will set customers back $1,099.

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