Rent a Christmas tree? The idea is seeming less and less crazy to many.
The annual ritual takes on many forms: there’s the drop-off at the local recycling centre, the kick to the curb for city pick-up and, of course, there’s always the unceremonious tinsel-and-all toss into the backyard, where the thing will inevitably take up residence as domestic eyesore until the snow melts in the spring.
Whichever way, the yearly Christmas tree disposal often comes with an extra twinkle of sadness mixed with guilt, for where there was once a strapping young kid of a tree, growing straight and strong for a good ten years or so, there is now just a dried up, needle-shedding nuisance. And for what? Maybe a week of (human) pleasure and adornment, after which it’s off to Ye Olde Wood Chipper with you!
To assuage this guilt, most municipalities now have recycling programs to turn your tree into useful garden mulch instead of unwanted landfill filler. The Hope for Wildlife Centre in Seaforth, Nova Scotia, provides another option for locals -habitat creation for wildlife. A short drive from Dartmouth and Halifax, the wild animal rehabilitation centre will be taking in untreated Christmas trees up until January 1st.
“We use untreated trees to give [the animals] a more natural habitat, for shelter and place to hide, as a windbreak and even as a food supply,” says wildlife centre founder Hope Swinimer, in conversation with the Chronicle Herald. The centre requests only trees that have not been sprayed at the tree lot with pesticides and wants to emphasize the Jan. 1 cut-off – last year they were inundated, says Swinimer. “People just kept up bringing them. It got a little crazy and ended up costing us money to dispose of them,” she said.
But the real break-out trend is the living Christmas tree. “You can replant!” say the many eco-friendlies and gardening types, who encourage buying a potted tree, roots and all, which can be planted in the yard once the festivities are over. A fine option for those of us with the forethought to not only do all the shopping in October but to also dig a big hole out back before the ground freezes.
For the rest of us, hallelujah, there’s tree rental.
Calgary-based FromTheGround Organic Gardens has seen their tree rental service explode this season, with the company unable to keep up with demand at the start of December. “I’ve had such an overwhelming response in the past couple days that I’ve been frantically calling around to all the nurseries I can,” said Landon Kennedy, company owner, to the CBC.
The Sapling Life runs out of Mississauga, Ontario, and like FromTheGround, they will deliver to your door a potted white spruce (they can range in height between one and two metres tall) which they will they pick up in the new year and replant (once you’ve taken off the tinsel, lights and decorations, of course).
“People are becoming more aware of the environmental impact that we’re having as humans,” says Marcelo Lorenzo of the Sapling Life to the Toronto Star. Lorenzo founded the company with his father, Alfredo, in attempt to make the Christmas season more eco-friendly. “We want to change the status quo and the way we see Christmas trees,” says Lorenzo, who plans on developing a geo-tagging service where tree renters can track where their tree ends up getting planted, so that over the years, “they can have their own little forest.”
Rental services range in price between $85 to $180.
Christmas Tree Decorating Trends for 2021
So, you have decided to rent a tree instead of buying one. There’s still one big question: how do you decorate it? If you answered “lots of tinsel and colored lights, of course”, then it’s time to drop the bell-bottoms, feathered hair and Happy Days lunchbox, because those things haven’t been in fashion for a long, long time.
Then how do you decorate your tree in a modern fashion? According to Decorator’s Warehouse, you can’t go wrong with a green or navy tree. Also, metallic trees are hot as are “Nutcracker” Christmas trees.
“Take a trip to your favorite ballet every day of the Christmas season. Red, gold, navy and emerald create a perfect pairing full of rich hues and playful prints. Add in pops of black and white like a harlequin or stripe for a traditionally fun, yet elegant look that is sure to turn heads and be on the cutting edge of trends for Christmas! Last year, this trend made its appearance — and it looks like it’s here to stay,” say the site’s decorators.
How long have Christmas trees been around?
The practice of decorating ones home with a Christmas tree likely goes back hundreds, if not thousands of years.
“Trees have been used in rituals and as decorations since ancient times, thus making the source of the modern Christmas tree open to debate,” explains Brittanica’s Amy Tikkanen. “However, many believe that it originated in Germany. It is claimed that in Germany about 723 the English missionary St. Boniface encountered pagans preparing a sacrifice at an oak tree dedicated to the god Thor (Donar). Boniface took an ax to the tree, and, when not struck down by their god, he proclaimed to the awed pagans that a nearby evergreen was their “holy tree.” Other sources report that a fir grew on the site of the fallen oak.”
The first Christmas tree on this side of the pond was first recorded in the 1830s by German settlers in Pennsylvania, until this time they were a complete rarity and were regarded in some circles as pagan symbols.
What does the Christmas tree represent?
But one of the oddities of the history of Christmas trees is that the have managed a complete reversal in terms of what they represent. In fact, many Christians now believe they are a
“That became a symbol of Christ — being triangular in shape it represents the trinity — and from there came the idea that the tree should be a symbol of Christ and new life,” says Dr Dominique Wilson from the University of Sydney. “That’s one of the main origins of the Christmas tree and bringing it into the house.”
Some, however, believe there is a particular bible verse that actually contradicts this modern idea. It’s from Jeremiah 10:1-25, which reads as follows.
Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”
Yeah, not really decisive.
What is the largest Christmas tree ever?
Maybe you’re the type who likes a challenge for the holidays. Looking to own the largest Christmas tree ever. Well, you’ve got your work cut out for you. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest Christmas tree on record was a 221 foot Douglas fir that was displayed in Seattle in 1950.
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