As a UGA grad, I am a die-hard SEC football fan...Go Dawgs! I also love the NFL and basically any other football game I can find on tv. I love to camp, scrapbook, read, watch movies, hike, take pictures, and hang out with friends. I'm a little bit girlie-girl, a little bit tomboy, a little bit southern belle and probably a little bit redneck... does a pink camouflage ball cap from Bass Pro Shops qualify me as redneck?
Many families struggle over whether or not the Christmas tree should be live or fake? But there is more to this debate than just convenience or tradition. Even experts are conflicted on the best option for yuletide cheer. There may not be a "right" answer, but here are some options...you can decide what is most important to you.
Live Tree. This is a living tree in a pot. You plant it outside after the holidays and contribute to a better environment and cleaner air in your community. Opt for a species native to your area to prevent the spread of non-native invaders.
Norfolk Island Pine or other houseplant. You use a large houseplant that is already in your home. No waste. No expense. The plant rewards you with cleaner indoor air all year. If you don't have one already, consider picking one up at your local nursery right now - the investment will be cheaper in the long run, and you have something to enjoy all year. Besides the Norfolk Pine, large versions of the Monstera, Philodendron, a tree-shape trained Pothos or multi-branched large Dracaena will all be able to bear the weight of most ornaments and garlands.
Artificial Tree. If you want the look of a traditional Christmas tree, you might want to select an artificial tree. The advantages are that artificial trees do not require cutting down live trees and you can pull it out again and again and again. If you can, buy it used and do your part to reuse and recycle. Just be aware that many artificial trees are made of PVC plastics and/or lead that can release toxic chemicals.
Cut Tree. Many people have mixed feelings about cutting down a tree for essentially cosmetic purposes. Some people really like the smell of a real tree and hate the fake trees. If you decide to have a cut tree, try to find an organic tree farm that avoids harmful chemical pesticides and herbicides. In addition to the fact that you will be supporting the local economy and local agriculture, you can also recycle your tree after the holidays, which will lessen the impact of cutting down a live tree. Remember to avoid putting anything toxic on your tree, like fake snow, which cannot be recycled.
Remember that you don't have to actually have a tree. Be creative, and think about creating an artistic wood, metal or plastic masterpiece from which to hang your goodies. You can design something with an Art Deco look, a streamlined 1950s metal and branched creation, or a California Craftsman-style wood ensemble. Start a new tradition! I promise your Christmas will be just as festive and look fantastic!
For tree trimmings, try edible or compostable items like popcorn or cranberries on a string, gingerbread cookies or items made from “found” objects around your home. Get the kids to make their own tree ornaments out of things you already have around the house, or from materials they might find in the backyard, such as bark, flowers, and pine cones.