For The Birds

christmas tree

HO HO HO. Here we are at the end of the year and the end of a fine season of fresh vegetables and delicious food. We hope you have enjoyed shopping with us as much as we, and the vendors, have enjoyed pulling it all together.  If you miss us, never fear, we’ll start up in a few short weeks, February 2nd, 2013. Until then we hope you enjoy the holidays and all the joy and beauty that comes with them.

One of the more beautiful traditions of the season is the Christmas tree. The smell, the lights, the ornaments (sparkling, tacky and handmade alike)…I love the warm, comforting glow it brings to my living room. A few years ago, however, I did the unthinkable, I bought a fake one. It happened during a moment of weakness; my time was short, my money was shorter and so I did a little math and figured that if I could get this plastic imposter through 5 years I’d start saving the yearly expense of the real thing. I’d also never have to worry about watering it, untangling the lights, vacuuming needles off the floor, or hiding the bald spot. In many ways I made a sound choice, I’m one short year away from my tree budget being in the black, but there are some downsides. Aside from the absence of that deliciously piney smell, and supporting those hard working growers, I miss out on capitalizing on the reuse of a real tree.

Not many people think of the second life of a Christmas tree. Most trees find themselves unceremoniously dumped on the curb on December 26th. For the longest time the only person I’ve ever known to reuse a tree was my Uncle Buck, but he certainly wasn’t like anyone else I knew. Every year, much to the bewilderment of my neighbors and friends, he would scoop these trees up and prop them out in his yard for the birds to shelter in.  It was odd. But now, 20 years later, the man is my hero and if you ever see a black Tacoma stuffed with Christmas trees, it’s likely just me making a run of my own. The fact is these former Christmas trees are a perfect place for birds and they’re even a nice, temporary addition to the landscape. What’s even better, when the weather starts to warm and the needles are going brown you can cut the branches into little pieces and use them as a mulch.  Finally, the trunk makes for a quick fire to roast a marshmallow or two by.  While all of this wonderful reuse is going on, my plastic Chinese (allegedly) knock-off is stuffed in a bag trying not to fall to pieces. Kind of makes me want to leave it in the attic next year.

Merry Christmas. As you’re taking the decorations off the tree give a thought to the birds. I’m sure they’d enjoy a little something to play with this year too.

 image sourced at genevieveng.com

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