Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree

I feel like a delinquent blogger.

I have no beautiful advent calendar projects to share and no decorations to speak of.

Honestly, Matt and I haven't done a single festive thing around our own house (although we are going to an inordinate number of holiday parties at other people's houses this year--does that count?).

Like I said a few days ago, I miscalculated the amount of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Matt and I should have done some holiday festification around our home the weekend after Thanksgiving. That way, we would have had three full weeks to enjoy it before heading off for the holidays.

But now it doesn't seem worth it (since the to-do list is chock full of other stuff...).

Plus, there's one other issue: Matt doesn't believe in Christmas trees. As an environmentalist, Matt thinks it is egregious to cut down a tree, stick it in your house for a few weeks, and then set it on the curb. Fake trees are equally bad with all the crud that goes into producing them and all the off-gassing that can happen.

I argue that Christmas tree farms are actually good for the environment because they generate a need for trees. Those trees grow all year (and even over the course of multiple years?) and pull carbon dioxide out of the air the entire time.

However, one could argue that all the pesticides that go into tree farming do more harm than good. Aaaackkk!

Anyway, I informed my beloved husband that next year I was going to get a tree. For sure. I tried to explain that having a tree is a tradition for me. It connects me to memories of family and community. It connects me to the cycle of seasons. He thought I was just justifying it.

But that's what our personal allowances are for, right? I can spend my $70 however I choose.

In face, maybe I'll go out and get one tomorrow night (I think our native plant store might just have organic trees...).

Any ideas for cheap/easy/aesthetically pleasing decorations?

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svhernandez1 said...

I have seen rosemary plants at Whole foods that look like tiny trees. Also, when getting a real tree think of it as supporting small local businesses in your area.

heatherseattle said...

We have cats which makes putting upa tree difficult because they will tear it down! Last year we made a tree (shape - like a cookie cutter shape) with the leftover cardboard tubes from wrapping paper and LED lights. It turned out really cute and was recycled & cat safe! :) (love your blog BTW!!!!)

Holly said...

I think there is just something about this year. We didn't get a tree this year either or do any fun decorating. I mean, I'm no Martha Stewart, but I usually like a little festivity! I was feeling sort of bad about all this but the other day I realized that we are doing a lot of things this year that really do align with our values -- doing a giftless christmas because OMG we really don't need anymore stuff! buying presents for local foster youth and senior citizens, but most importantly making time to gather with family and friends in a way that doesn't leave us feeling harried-- and in the end, that makes me feel pretty darn festive. It's funny though after re-reading that (novel of a) comment that my knee-jerk reaction is that we aren't really "celebrating"

Erin said...

We got one of those rosemary plants last year... it died really quickly on us, but I am a serial plant killer. I think I want to get an actual baby christmas tree this year, in a pot. Then we can take it up north with us when we leave for the holidays and plant it up there? Just thought of that. Of course the ground will be frozen, hm... and I don't think it would survive in SC. Anyway, that's an idea, hypothetically you could get one that you would plant later.
Another idea is a wreath made with real pine branches. Then you get some of the real tree smell which I think is important. And you aren't killing a whole tree, I don't know if they cut trees down to make those, but at least they are making several wreaths with one tree. Or they are harvesting a few branches from trees without killing them.
Some family friends of ours have a 12th night celebration where they decorate with freshly cut boughs from their land. They don't kill a single tree but it is so beautiful and festive and smells amazing!
By the way... I followed over from your other blog :)

greteanemone said...

We get our trees from the National Forest that is about 20 miles away from us. You can buy a permit for $10, and go cut down your own tree. There are a few rules to follow, it has to be under a certain size, a certain distance away from the road. I'm not sure if this is possible in all or most National Forests, but it's something to look into. The trees are certainly organic, and you are actually helping the forest as a whole by thinning out some of the smaller trees so that others can grow! It is also a much cheaper option than buying from a tree farm.

Urban Environmentalist said...

Sorry in advance for the novel! My husband and his family have owned a Christmas Tree farm for 30 years. My husband and I took it over about 4 years ago. The work was getting too much for his father. We are able to use no chemicals when the trees get bigger and minimal chemicals when they are smaller by planting different species next to others, much like vegetables, by rotating fields with different species, and by knowing when to cut disease out instead of spraying for it. When you buy a tree from a local farm you ar supporting a local small business owner. You may choose to get a tree that is a native species to your area - in hotter places it doesn't necessarily have to be a "traditional" christmas tree. Chritmas trees are just like anything else when it comes to being eco-friendly, there are not so good options and there are far better options. We gave Christmas tree favours for our wedding and included pruning and care instructions and quite a few of our guests have potted them to plant in their yards later. Others we asked to plant anywhere if they didn't have a yard or didn't celebrate Christmas. These trees grow for approx 8 years - 8 years of goodness for the environment. Also when you plant one alone, say in a backyard, it is FAR less prone to disease and you may be able to grow it completely organically without any problems.

Elizabeth said...

Two great options-- buy a live tree with a root ball, and plant it after Christmas- my parents have done this for years and have a hilarious row of former Christmas trees, each one a bit taller than the next. Another good option is to buy a potted house tree- evergreen, palm tree, whatever- and decorate it, then enjoy it the the rest of the year.

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