Waiting for Santa

Saturday I cut a cedar tree for Christmas and with the help of some friends, managed to get it set up and the lights on.  Last night I put a few ornaments on it, but didn’t finish.  Barely got started actually.  I did put the tree skirt around the bottom, and left it at that for the moment, as I had some work to finish up.  Boomer didn’t waste any time.  This is a dog that truly loves Christmas.  I have to hide his presents, or he’s under the tree ripping the wrappings off.  Not having a good reference point for dates, and therefore  not knowing when Christmas actually comes, Boomer isn’t taking any chances on missing Santa.  This has become his favorite place to sleep.

waitingforsanta2.jpg

Most people disregard cedars for Christmas trees.  In fact, outside of my family, I’m not sure I’ve heard of anyone else using cedars.  They just aren’t on the list of “good” Christmas trees.  But we always had one – mostly because they grew in large numbers on our farm, and going to cut one of them was a family celebration.  Since we lived in a 100+ year old house, with high ceilings and big rooms, we always got the biggest tree we could.

I love the wild look of a cedar and dislike the perfect triangles of artificial trees.  I love the aroma of cedar in the house.  And best of all, the tree is recycled.  When the holidays are over, the tree goes outside near the birdfeeder to provide shelter.  When the branches have died, I snip bits and pieces and keep them in a plastic bag, to be mixed with a little white sage or sweetgrass and used as incense, or more accurately, smudge.

red cedar flute

The trunk can go two ways.  Either it is cut into three-foot lengths and shipped to my ex, who crafts beautiful Native American flutes, or it can be sliced into small sections and used as drawer and closet fresheners.

Recycling the tree takes away some of the guilt about cutting one in the first place.  My tree isn’t perfect, because I chose one that was blocking the growth of several other young trees.  With this one cleared, the others will become stronger.  I’m grateful that my banding operations are keeping the fields from becoming baseball diamonds, which would doom a lot more out there than the trees.  

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about mice!

4 Responses to “Waiting for Santa”

  1. Laura Says:

    Nice present there for you under the tree already!

    I like your idea of cutting a wild tree – don’t you just hate those Xmas tree farms; the tree lined up like little soldiers? And to really recycle it is great – those flutes sound like something very special!

    Can you tell me what sweetgrass is?

  2. LauraO Says:

    Sweetgrass is a fragrant long grass – you can find more about it here: http://www.ecoseeds.com/sweetgrass.html or just google sweetgrass. It’s used like incense – called smudge – and in ceremonial work.

  3. Laura Says:

    Thanks, Laura. I knew that it was used that way, just wondered what the actual plant was. Great link.

  4. A story of cedars and flutes | Somewhere in New Jersey Says:

    […] American Indians use the wood for flute-making and LauraO at Natural Notes 3 prefers them for her Christmas Tree.Laura’s mention of flute-making in that post sparked my curiosity and I found this American […]


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