How to have a ‘green’ Christmas tree
I remember the moment well.
We were driving along the road following a lorry when Little Miss Green was 4 or 5.
LMG suddenly sat forward to see what was on the back of the lorry and she couldn’t believe her eyes.
“Are those trees?” she asked.
I told her they were Christmas trees and that every year millions were cut down, the roots were cut off and they were sold to people like us who put them in our houses for two or three weeks.
Little Miss Green was horrified. She’s been a tree custodian all her life. She seems to have a real connection with them, a love of them, a naturally protective spirit which defends them.
She vowed that we were never to have a Christmas tree again.
Ever since then we’ve had branches cut from her favourite tree – Maggie. Maggie is a Magnolia tree and each Yule she gets a trim and offers her best branches to our home. They are bought indoors and stood in a bucket of sand with pebbles around the top that have been collected on various summer trips to the beach.
Most of the decorations are ones I inherited when I left home and they have been added to with home made offerings. Little Miss Green and I sit and sew snowmen, Robbins, Christmas puddings and all sorts of things from felt and off cuts of material. They are stuffed with sheeps wool, dried spices and essential oils to bring natural scents into our home.
We dry satsumas on the fire and stud oranges with cloves. We hang bunches of cinnamon sticks. We thread popcorn and cranberries onto strings. We bring in natural greenery such as holly and evergreen branches from our hedges.
At the end of the season natural decorations are hung outside for the birds to take their pickings before composting the rest.
Yes we have tinsel, yes we have glittery baubles, but all is at least 20 years old and still going strong. Maggie’s branches get dried and burned the following season and it feels good to be making our festive season just a little bit greener. We celebrate Yule rather than Christmas, so it feels totally right to have natural decorations which celebrate the beauty of the earth.
Over on Reduce Footprints, we’re asked to share our ideas about greener Christmas decorations for our Change the World Wednesday challenge. What about you – how do you make your Christmas or Yule decorations more eco friendly?