Jenny Devereaux's purchase of a fake Christmas tree his year has left her guilt-ridden and worried that she may have tipped the planet into environmental meltdown.
And the tree has split the Devereaux household down the middle with eco-warrior daughter Samantha (14) refusing to recognise the fake. Samantha, as a protest, has installed a small real tree, with roots, in her bedroom.
Samantha is threatening to replant her tree in the garden and hopes to re-use it every year even when she has children of her own. Her only regret is that real trees don't come in her favourite colour, purple.
Her mother says that for weeks she wrestled with her conscience over whether to go fake or real this Christmas but now agrees she probably made the wrong choice.
'I guess our Samantha is right as usual.' concedes a contrite Jenny, who hasn't slept for the last week. 'I didn't realise, until Sam told me, that fake trees are made with polyvinyl chloride, one of the most environmentally offensive forms of non-renewable, petroleum-derived plastic. I was gutted. I'd throw it out, but I'm not sure if that would be environmentally friendly. Perhaps Sam'll know.'
But Jenny is clear on one aspect of the controversy.
'I certainly won't be on my hands and knees after the festive season picking thousands of bleeding real pine needles out of Sam's bedroom carpet,' she declared.