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Real or artificial Christmas tree? Martha Stewart settles the debate

The lifestyle maven said she "absolutely" prefers one over the other.
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

If anyone knows a thing or two about decorating for the holidays, it’s Martha Stewart.

From Christmas cookbooks to making homemade Christmas decorations, the lifestyle expert has published dozens of how-to books since her first cookbook “Entertaining” came out in 1982.

So, during a recent trip to TODAY, we asked Stewart to settle some perennial debates that arise during the holiday season — starting with Christmas trees.

Stewart let us know, in her opinion, which kind of trees are better to use for decoration: Artificial or the real thing.

With an 156-acre estate in Katonah, N.Y, it’d be easy to think her preference skews toward farm fresh trees. But it’s exactly the opposite.

“I absolutely prefer artificial trees now. Absolutely,” Stewart told TODAY. “I do not want the needles all over my house.”

“I absolutely prefer artificial trees. Absolutely.”

Martha Stewart, settling the christmas tree debate

Though that might get some purists up in arms, Stewart said that as far as she’s concerned, artificial trees are simpler and safer.

“I don’t have to worry about a dried-out Christmas tree starting a fire,” she said. “I prefer the illuminated, artificial tree.” (With white lights, she said).

Stewart said she has enough artificial trees to keep her busy decorating for the rest of the holiday season. “I have many, many, many of them,” Stewart said.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Stewart goes all out with the trimmings. “I actually set up trees in about four different places on my property and four different houses.”

And she doesn’t just stick with just one theme, either. Instead, Stewart decorates her many Christmas trees in a variety of colors.

“I do gold trees, green trees, red trees, silver trees, pink trees,” she said. “And they’re orchestrated to be very, very beautiful and have a cohesive design.”

The 81-year-old businesswoman also has her own collection of holiday decorations on QVC including wreaths, ornaments, candles ... and artificial Christmas trees.

On a recent visit with Hoda and Jenna on TODAY, Stewart dished on her holiday plans this year and what she’s learned from close pal, Snoop Dogg. She said their friendship has taught her about “doing business in a different way.”

She also revealed what her current go-to cocktail is. “At present, it’s a ‘Martha-tini.’ which is a delicious martini made with a Polish vodka, Zubrowka, and a big, beautiful lemon peel,” Stewart said.

The queen of the holidays also shared her thoughts on a Mariah Carey Instagram post showing the “All I Want for Christmas” singer turning from a Halloween witch into Santa and belting, “It’s time!”

“Mariah, you know me. I am a traditionalist with a twist,” Stewart joked. “You cannot give up Thanksgiving. Just because you don’t like turkey? I love turkey, and many, many other people love turkey.”