Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Green Tree

I love Christmas Trees. My dad used to go cut one down from the Uintah Mountains when I was growing up, they smelled fabulous. They leaked pine sap all over the living room floor and oftentimes they were way too tall for the house. I guess it’s hard to gauge how high a tree ought to be when you’re out with a lot of drunken friends in the middle of a snowy Utah night, in early December. We’d have to cut off the bottom of the tree with regularity.

My mother Helen collects an eccentric and dazzling number of ornaments. She has hundreds that people have given her over the years, and even on an enormous tree, there’s not room for all she has. After spending a day putting on lights and decorating tree we had this lovely, lovely visual spectacle to greet us throughout December and January. The tree was always one of the important personalities of Christmas – its antics mirrored the woozy nog-filled ones that took place during my parents’ numerous holiday celebrations. On the years the tree didn’t tip over because in no way does a real pine tree’s base fit into a commercial tree-holder’s stand, one of the cats would invariably decide to climb it, or somebody would stagger into it. Always one of Helen’s favorite ornaments was broken, which was okay in the end. It was a sort of survival of the fittest sort of tree we hailed.

Since moving to Texas, I’ve never had a tree, but now that we’re having a baby, I feel like I need to start making some conscious efforts to incorporate holidays – both Indian and “culturally American” holidays. So I want a tree. But in keeping w/Green Parenting spirit, not a Christmas Tree lot tree. That seems wasteful of a perfectly good tree to me, especially in Houston where I figure any tree they have planted ought to stay that way. But I also don’t want a fake tree because that feels like lying. So we will:

a) Cut down the ugly little deciduous, pokey, evergreen-like trees in front of the house and decorate them. We were going to tear them out, anyway.


b) Research trees in my Texas Gardening book, buy two, decorate them and use them through Christmas, then plant them, along w/BabyG’s placenta, after Christmas. As I said in my ordinary blog, if BabyG is born already speaking Gujurati, English, or Spanish, she can tell us which tree she’d like her placenta buried beneath.

Probably unless BabyG comes out today, we are a choice “b” family. The downside to it is that I really love the evergreens I grew up with, and we’re going to buy some sort of oak or fruit or magnolia tree or a bush with red berries. Not to mention that we both secretly love the idea of using the two trees we don’t like and that we already own.

Though maybe we could freecycle those. All the time people have other people come over and dig up whatever plants they don’t want, and take them for themselves. Maybe the two scrappy trees I will never understand would make somebody else’s Winter Solstice.

I’ll have to consult Mr. GreenDaddy.

No comments: