I love a real tree, but they make me sneeze and my eyes itch and I get a headache. I use a fake tree. I like to leave it up until Mardi Gras is over. That can be a while. You can't do that with a real tree.
I love the smell of real trees, but not the cost of having to buy a new one every year, the "wasting" of a tree if you don't buy one to plant, and the mess. We have a fake tree and I just burn pine tree scented candles. My husband "pines" for a real tree so we'll probably get one every once in awhile as a special treat, and I do want to plant a row of trees by the back of our fence so that would be a good reason to get some we can plant.
I love having a real tree. A scented candle would not be enough for me as far as the aroma a tree provides. Clean up sucks, there are still pine needles from last year in this house. But as far as sap, Goo Gone!