#1 Making Christmas More Exhausting And Guilt-Ridden: Organic Xmas.11-29-2010, 06:24 PMHow to choose, care for a real Christmas tree
If you've always had an aluminum or plastic tree, get ready for a treat!
By Matt HickmanSun, Nov 28 2010 at 10:32 AM EST Comments
Nothing says “holiday cheer” like packing up the family on a Saturday morning and heading deep into the woods (aka a U-cut Christmas tree farm or the parking lot of a local supermarket), carefully selecting the most majestic of firs (or pines or spruces), hauling it home, dressing it up all pretty and festooning it with lights and then dragging it to the curb four weeks later — only to be vacuuming up needles from your carpet well into March. It’s a cherished pastime that everybody tackles differently, although plenty of Americans actually bypass this ritual altogether and opt for a made-in-China vinyl tree that is resurrected from the garage or basement year after year.
Since we at MNN like to “keep it real,” we thought we’d pass along a few pointers on how to select, care for and dispose of non-artificial Christmas trees to those of you who may be doing “the tree thing” for the first time or making the switch from trees of the lead-shedding, PVC variety to the real deal.
Although tree farms may offer trees of different shapes, sizes and species (Douglas and Fraser firs and Scotch pines are among the most popular), most commercial tree farms aren’t like supermarkets that may have a separate produce section offering organic fruits and veggies. However, there are a growing number of trees farms that exclusively grow organic (some USDA-certified) trees that haven’t been treated with agricultural chemicals.
Organic Christmas trees will most likely cost you more, but if bringing home a chemical-free tree is a concern, check out this database of organic tree farms. Some lots may also specialize in organic trees.
Once you’ve performed a feng shui evaluation and secured your tree in a space in your home that’s a safe distance from direct sunlight and sources of heat or ventilation and that’s easy to access for watering purposes (fresh trees can absorb a gallon of water a day so if you have rain barrels, use ’em) it’s trimming time.
Start with the lights. LED lights last longer, will reduce drying of the tree and are more energy-efficient than incandescent light strands. Companies like HolidayLEDS.com even have Christmas light recycling programs that allow you to send in old incandescent lights for recycling and get a discount on the purchase of new LED lights.
When it comes to ornaments, if you already have a stash, use them. But if you don’t have an existing stockpile of glittering globes, try decorating the tree with ornaments found in nature like berries, pinecones, discarded bird nests, dried flowers and … stale popcorn. There’s no need to spend a fortune on decorations when a tree can look beautiful with items found in your own backyard. And if you’re DIY minded, whip out the glitter and the glue gun and make — and bake — your own ornaments.
Mother Nature News
11-29-2010, 06:34 PMOnce you’ve performed a feng shui evaluation
11-29-2010, 06:47 PM
I have a friend who is very into all things feng shui so my house gets analyzed and "cured" for free. Either the architecture and my decor sense are just marvelously insync with Chinese decorating folklore or my friend knows better than to suggest that I do much more than scatter a few plants and wind chimes around. :D
11-29-2010, 07:10 PM
I do a ton of Christmas trees each year - and there is no way in hell I'm doing an organic one. :mad:Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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11-29-2010, 09:03 PM
Back in the day (in Scandi communities, anyway) Christmas trees were obtained and decorated on Christmas Eve and they were out of the house by Epiphany. They didn't decompose over 6 weeks.
I would be happy with a little 5 footer tree that was live but Mr. Snaps needs a huge tree and that's way too much Nature to be in my living room. I'm also okay with the lack of interest from the pets and lack of needles that fake trees offer. Once I do erect a "tree" in my house, I'll be damned if I'm going to stick pine cones and dead leaves on it. I have actual living trees with all that junk on them outside.
11-30-2010, 10:11 AM
I'll stick with my plastic, pre-lit tree from Big Lots. I'll need to replace it next year, probably, with a slightly bigger plastic, pre-lit tree from Big Lots, due to people giving me new ornaments every year. I don't have to vaccum up needles, my cat doesn't try to climb it, and it folds up and can be stored in a small box.
11-30-2010, 12:44 PM
I'm so happy to have our fake tree again this year. I just hope that it didn't get too damaged in the move from St Louis to Sarasota. I like it because it's not a fake tree pretending to be a real tree. With this white one, you definitely know it's fake. The problem is that any clear crystal ornaments just disappear on the tree.
For years I had huge real Christmas trees. They smell nice, look pretty, but were expensive. My ex was a hoarder. He couldn't bear to even remove a Christmas tree. It would be up for at least 2 months, til I'd get so furious with all the massive needle drop that I'd make enough noise that he finally took it down. After I got out of there over 5 years ago, I heard that he left a tree up til July. He was lucky the house didn't go up in flames.
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