02 December 2008

Christmas trees

My mother remarked that it has been a while since I last posted, and I suppose she is right. Right now I am crazy knitting, trying to finish the last of my Christmas presents before, well, it was supposed to be before Dec. 1, but that has come and gone because I was playing World of Warcraft too much. So now I am hoping to be done by the 15th or 20th. I just don’t want to be knitting on Christmas Eve. I have also been busy house hunting since we would like to be able to move right after Christmas. Finding 4-bedroom houses for rent is not easy.

I thought today I would talk about Christmas trees. A week or so ago, I was driving with the kids downtown and the fire department was putting lights on the big tree in the square. Rowan remarked that it was the same tree they decorated last year. I agreed and said that was the best thing to do. Which got me thinking about the tradition of Christmas trees.

I hate fake Christmas trees. I deplore them. They don’t smell good, they are a pain to put together, and I consider them a waste of resources. But a real Christmas tree has been cut down at a time in history when we need all the living trees we can get. No, I am not naïve enough to think that it contributes to deforestation, because I have been to a Christmas tree farm and cut my own before. But how good is it for the soil to keep replanting Christmas trees each year? Our soil is depleting at a terrible rate and we need to build it up, not strip it further. I have done no research on the soil necessities of Christmas trees, so I don’t know exactly what the burden of a Christmas tree farm is. But I do know that we have no way to make use of the tree after Christmas. We have no woodstove in which to burn it for heat, we have no compost pile in which to rot it for soil. The only thing we can do in our city apartment is to take it to the dump. They will probably burn it there, but that fire doesn’t benefit anyone by keeping them warm. It only makes room for more brush.

This year we have talked with the kids and decided to forgo a Christmas tree this year. We will hang the lights around the rooms downstairs and hang the ornaments from the ceiling where toddlers and kitties can’t reach them. It helps when proposing such a thing to one’s children to point out that Laura and Mary Ingalls didn’t even see a Christmas tree until they were almost teenagers and they never had one in their house. The children wanted to know where Santa would leave the presents and so that is one thing we are still working on. Laura and Mary got their presents in their stockings. That is an option if we can find a place to actually hang their stockings. We usually leave them on the ends of their beds since we have no mantle. I am not leaving all the kids’ presents on their beds for them to open before we adults even wake up. We will figure something out in the next three weeks.

Yikes! Only three weeks? I have to go back to my knitting. I still have a pair of socks to make. I will try to post again soon.

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