Ok, I'll admit it. I'm putting up an artificial Christmas Tree. I strongly considered getting a "real" tree this year, but after doing some yard work last weekend, I remembered why I switched in the first place.

I'm allergic to pine trees.

Yes, I'll dress up the fake tree and pretend it's real. They have things you can hide in the boughs that smell like a pine tree. I'll even put a few real pine cones around the branches, but it's still a fake tree.

Make no mistake, this is serious stuff.

If the holidays are truly a time for peace on earth and goodwill toward all, someone forgot to tell the Christmas tree people.

For these holiday antagonists it's either a natural tree grown at a farm or an artificial model that lasts year after year.

Choose wisely, each side says, because the other option can be downright dangerous, carrying risks for allergies, environmental damage and even lead.

A spokesman for the National Christmas Tree Association says the biggest competition for natural trees is bad information about allergies, flammability and how much trouble they are. The head of the American Christmas Tree Association argues the natural tree people say untrue things about artificial trees.

The dispute remains bitter even as the Christmas tree market, natural and artificial, has slumped since 2007.