It is January 6th – known by many as Three Kings Day, or Twelfth Night. The last official day of Christmas. And it is traditional in some households to say good bye to the tree today. Off come the ornaments to be packed in their sturdy containers (or the ancient, flimsy cardboard boxes, taped at the corners with equally ancient masking tape). Then the lights. They never go back to their original form, snaking over and under the little tabs in the box. More likely, they are wound around someone’s arm like a construction workers extension cord and dumped into a larger tote. The tree skirt is thrown into the laundry basket for a quick wash, where it will ultimately be forgotten until around, say, April, when all the supplies are stowed in the attic.
Ok. Now what? You’re left with the tree itself. It looks a little humiliated, doesn’t it? Well, we won’t go there – until next year’s blog, when we will discuss alternatives for the whole Christmas tree idea. But right now, your tree is standing there, naked as a jaybird, dripping needles all over the carpet. Well, let’s make this problem interactive, shall we? I’ll start:
- Turn it into a carpet – a mulch carpet, that is. Find a kindly lumberjack with a woodchipper and have him chew it into little bits for landscaping. Blueberry bushes would love you for it.
- Chop Chop. Well, it is wood – use the trunk for firewood even if it isn’t the brightest burn on the pile.
- Set it free. Take it to the woods (now, no sneaking onto someone’s property or dumping on public land without permission), and let it become home to whatever claims it, while it biodegrades back to nature.
- Let it sleep with the fishes. If you have a pond (again, only permission-granted places), submerge the tree at the edge for a great home for little fishes. And take the cannolis.
Remember, this isn’t for flocked trees, trees that haven’t relinquished their tinsel, or artificial trees – even if they look very, very real.
Ok, your turn. Give us your ideas for doing the right thing with that tree. Go ahead. No planet- friendly solution is too silly for the Universe.