christmas tree leftovers
near where i live, they are lining the streets. dumped by the curb. unceremoniously hauled out and left to shiver in the finally-arriving cold.
they are the fallen soldiers of christmas. they are the once-proud trees, stripped, humbled, strewn.
all their trappings, packed and stashed back in the attic, the basement, the closet that holds way too much.
not so many weeks ago, it seemed every car, suv, minivan had one strapped to the roof like some botanical five-point buck, grown, felled, strung up by the limbs, just so we could carry home christmas.
for awhile there we flirted with the poor thing. made all nicey-nice. left cookies down by the stump one star-studded night. draped it with shimmery stuff. turned on the lights. might even have remembered to give it a drink.
then it got old. we loosened our affections. the calendar changed. we declared: time to dump.
and so, all around me, and maybe around you, they’ve been dumping. like a forest of the unloved, they are askew at the curbs all over the place.
not at my house.
we are proudly, defiantly, giving them life ever after. they stand, the big one listing west, the little one leaning to the east, out in the back where we keep an eye on their doings. they are there for the birds, for the critters who crawl deep inside them.
now the interesting thing about leftover trees is that you don’t have to have had a tree in the first place to go out and, er, simply adopt one. if you’re supremely polite you might knock on a door, ask, hey do you mind if i borrow your tree? the look might be quizzical, but i doubt they’ll say no.
come on, who’s going to turn down a kook who wants to haul home a dry tree?
take a stand. or a coffee can of sand. (remember when the coffee you drank came in cans? yes, it still does.) or just lean it jauntily against something else.
if you want to go for the st. francis of assisi supergold medal, you might refer to that long-ago meandering (“for the birds,” 12.22.06), and make yourself and your birds some peanut-butter-and-birdseed hearts. or dangle some suet muffins. or string cranberries and popcorn.
then watch the birds have at it. watch the tree come back to life. if you listen, you might even hear it humming. some ol’ resurrection tune, perhaps.
there are worse ways to savor your leftovers.
and at my house, they’re welcome to stay ’til the last little needle drops to the ground. then i’ll grind it up and make mulch of it. which, come to think of it, doesn’t sound very nice.
vote here if you think this is all for the birds.
what a great idea. i was driving down my street yesterday looking at all of the trees lying on the curbsides- it truely is a dismal sight. if someone had an artificial tree they could put it on a porch or deck and see if the birds and critters are partial to” real” trees – dead or alive!!!!
What a wonderful way to part with what has now become a beloved friend at our house. My only question: will the squirrels attack it and knock it over, snatching everything for themselves?
My father-in-law, sweet grand old gentleman that he was, used to move the tree from the living room sometime at the end of January each year to the enclosed front porch where it would stay until Easter. He would then saw off a portion of the trunk and keep the log until the following Christmas when he would burn the yule log on Christmas Eve. He was all about keeping the Spirit of Christmas alive all year long.
oh, man! i love that!!!!! that is totally beautiful. yule log, here we come….see why a table is a grand place to convene. as for jcv’s squirrel query: hmm, well i did glance out my window about two hours after posting above squibble, and lo and behold the big tree was felled. i blamed the wind. not the ultra-fat squirrels. i righted it quickly and all is well ever since.
Thank You all for the ideas, and the spurring of a new tradition for myself and ol tanembaum. Waa Laa a tradition born,that was to easy. I am going to take all the ideas posted and put them into action. I love the Grandfather story. thank you.I do have to admit, the longest I kept a tree was St. Patricks Day, yes, it was a goal to see how long it would last and it looked pretty darn good , up until March 1st. Signed, An adorer of Christmas Trees alive and dead!