Christmas Trees are for the Birds

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First year ever. We bought a Christmas Tree.

Out into the fields, Little Miss E and I went.

We toasted marshmallows, drank some hot chocolate then ran among the trees, E shouting, “This one! No, this one!  No, no this one!!”  In the fading light of a mid-December dusk I made a quick choice and cut rapidly with the saw.  Oh, what a big event, and its momentum carried through the holidays.

And then last Sunday it was time to take down the tree.  Along the roads now, balsams lie discarded, heaped upon the snow banks, so much trash waiting to be carted away.  “Where do they go?” E asked, and I really don’t know.  It got me wondering.

In our home, the threat of discarding the tree was too great.  E had a meltdown.  And I had an idea.  I remembered my mother, an avid birder, telling me that our feathered friends love to take shelter in the boughs and branches of the trees – whether rooted or cut down does not matter – and so a plan was hatched.  “Wait, we can help the birds!”

While Becca grabbed cranberries from the freezer, and a needle and thread, E and I hauled the tree outdoors, into the sunlight of the front yard.  We stood the tree upright in the snow.

E was thrilled.  Back into the house, she dashed to the art table and insisted “I can do it!”  I showed her how to hold the needle and thread, how to position the fingers while pulling the needle through, and she was off.  In her typical fashion, she shouted, “I can do it, I can do it.  Give me space!”

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And for good style, she donned rabbit ears.  Who knows why.  It was quite a look.

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We transitioned from meltdown to excitement.  She ate loads of raw berries, then danced as we hung them on the tree.  Later, while stringing popcorn, she ate far more than she strung.

But we put together enough garland to encircle the tree several times.  And so we answered her question about where our tree will go:  at our house, it is for the birds.

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2 Comments on “Christmas Trees are for the Birds”

  1. bam says:

    absolutely beautiful, the writing, the photos, the parenting. the pure delight. i got goosebumps, because among things oma/grammy/bgm seems to have sprouted after-christmas tree farms all across the land.
    here’s my post from long ago..
    http://pullupachair.org/2007/01/09/christmas-tree-leftovers-3/
    and you can trust that it is a tradition we can’t wait to honor every blessed year. welcome to the celebration, miss ella bella beautiful. love you, love your papa and your mama and baby milo who next year gets to join in on all the wonder. it’s as much fun after as it is before…xoxox
    love, auntie baPs

  2. ann says:

    we put ours in the chicken coop, smells great & they like to nest & lay eggs under it!


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