After much debate, we decided to buy a real Christmas tree this year.
This is the tree we found at a tree farm, but it was twice as much as we wanted to spend. So we found a close second - slightly less-perfect tree - at Lowe's. We brought it home, spent hours figuring out how to steady it, feed it, and string lights on it (after stringing them backwards the first time and unwinding all six strands). The boys hung ornaments (and I rearranged every single one when they weren't looking).
Except for the branch that needs to be trimmed on the bottom, I think it looks pretty good. The boys are happy with it, anyway, and that's all the matters, right?