We purchased a real christmas tree through the school — everyone has one here, there are very few plastic ones. It looks fantastic, but it’s a real pain! You could (and should) spend the extra 15 pound to get a non-shedding one, but of course, we bought the cheaper one, not knowing what we were in for.Now that it’s been up for a couple of weeks, you simply need to touch it and all of the pine needles come showering gently down on the presents. I’ve no doubt that tomorrow we’ll be covered in prickly pine as we extract the presents from under the tree. The towels under the tree are there to help catch the pine needles and protect the carpet a bit.