I really was unaware of how much heat a Christmas tree gives off. Of course, it's awful bright too....and I mean awful in a good way. It's actually close enough to where I'm typing this entry that I have a glare on my screen. Oh, and it's been up since last night.
We stopped with real trees many years ago. I just hated the idea of cutting down all those trees for such a short amount of time. It was a personal decision, and I don't have an opinion on what other families do.
We tried doing a live tree, only to have it not live. This was back in my pre-gardening days. I still feel guilty about that little guy. I'm sure it was because I didn't follow the directions, but it really discouraged me.
Now that we live in a tropical climate, we choose to use an artificial tree. We purchased a new one this year, and it just sparkles and shines. My son's eyes light up every time he looks at it. I know it's early, but we don't mind. We like to enjoy it for as long as possible every year.
Once I figure out what to use for a tree "skirt" I'll post pictures.