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December 24, 2005

The Travesty of the Xmas Tree Industry

It is an oft-ignored part of the holiday season that many a lovely Xmas tree is left bound and gagged with netting and twine, often piled one on top of the other, and left to their own devices in the freezing cold of the Xmas tree lot. Later, these unsold, homeless trees are discarded and left to starve or be stripped of their branches so horrible, heartless individuals can make ugly wreaths out of their beautiful plumage. Some even meet their untimely deaths at the hands of a wood chipper or axe. It's disgusting!


 

SAVE THE CAGED XMAS TREE!

I can only credit Randy for alerting me to this horrible affliction of Xmas last year, when he and I went to pick out a tree. I started looking at the nice, happy trees, leaning upon their posts, with their branches swaying freely in the winter breeze, when Randy pulled me away. "We should get one of those," he said, and pointed at a site of true horror— innocent spruce trees piled five or six trees high on a hard, wooden palette. We could almost hear their screams of pain as we rushed to free them. Alas, only one would fit in the back of Randy's car, so we tried to choose the most helpless (and symmetrical) tree, and brought it home to free it of its bindings. It's a small thing to do during the holiday season, and I'm glad to make it a part of my holiday traditions.

This year, Randy and I began our tree-saving search later in the season. Monday to be exact. I was happy to say that Hichen's Farm Stand on Route 236 was selling his trees in the much more humane unwrapped fashion. Not one was tied up. Hooray for Hichen's! On we went to Dairy Queen to find a tree to save. Lo and behold, other tree-savers must have been there before us, and every tree was standing upright, branches swaying in the wind. It was a beautiful sight. So our search resumed, and we traveled into Somersworth. On High Street next to the sub shop, it seemed that the trees, though free of shackles, were at the edge of death. Someone must have cut off the twine just prior to our arrival, as they looked very sad and malnourished. I can only hope that their future owners will revive them thoroughly.


 

The ONE place that we found trees that were still imprisoned in twine was at Direct Mattress, where apparently the employees have no souls. The man who assisted us even had the gall to look at us in shock when we told him we wanted a tree that was still tied up. His shamelessness about the crimes of humanity he played party to was abhorrent. As he carried the tree to our car, I couldn't help but picture Jesus carrying the cross, and hoped that this man would suffer for his sins and realize the horrible injustice at his workplace. I tipped him $1.00.


 

We let our tree ride in the back seat of the car with the window down, so it could proudly proclaim its newfound freedom to all we passed on the street. Though it couldn't speak its thanks, I felt its relief as Direct Mattress was further and further in the distance, and knew we had done a wonderful thing.


 

Arriving home, Randy carried the tree on his shoulder and placed it gently into the tree stand. We cut off the restrictive netting and were horrified to see that only a few branches were able to stretch out— the rest were frozen in place. I kept constant vigil over our tree that night (well, until 11:30pm anyway), making sure to turn up the heat, constantly refill its water, and wipe away its tears of pain that dripped to the floor as each branch thawed. Thankfully, on Tuesday morning when we woke up, our tree was fully open in all of its glory, and now is on the road to recovery.


 

Yesterday I spent a few hours tending to our tree, draping it in lights and ornaments, which it displays proudly. We hope you'll stop by to give it your well-wishes as its health improves.

I urge all of you, if you have not yet purchased a Xmas tree, to pass by the upright, untied trees. They are happy already. Instead, put your hard-earned dollars toward saving a less fortunate tree enslaved by rope. Take it home and free its branches! These trees need all the love and nourishment they can get. Save the bound Xmas trees!

Oh yeah, and I lied about this being the Best Pictures of 2005 post, that will have to come as a New Year's post. :)


 

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