Christmas Decorations

Christmas Ball-keh (Explored!) by tochis

It is that time of year again, the season when TheGardenLady loves to see all the decorations on everyone’s Christmas trees.

I was impressed that many of this year’s White House decorations were simple decorations that anyone could make. I think nothing makes a holiday as wonderful and meaningful as when everyone of all ages and all artistic abilities can participate. For example, I love the wreaths made of sheet music.

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Great Christmas Trees You Can Visit

White House tree by afagen

December is the month for public Christmas Trees to be lit and Christmas Tree exhibits. Dec. 3rd seems to be the date many of the decorated trees are lit. TheGardenLady thinks everybody can enjoy the lit trees whether you celebrate with decorated trees in your home or not. Traditionally called a Christmas tree, if it makes you happy, call the tree a Holiday Tree. Whatever you call it, the lit trees are so colorful and delightful on these cold, dark days of late fall and winter that they bring warmth and joy to the outdoors.

Of course, everyone knows of three of the most famous Christmas Trees: the National Christmas Tree outside the White House , the National Christmas Tree inside the White House  and the tree at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, NY said to be “the biggest, brightest, most famous Christmas tree on our planet”.

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More Thoughts about an Eco-Friendly Christmas

turnips by ted_major

TheGardenLady received these comments, from  Donna and one lady who did not give her name .

I too noted that real trees are more eco-friendly. It appears there is a lot more information on this subject being presented each day. I am always glad to find more support for the real trees. My friend is a Christmas tree grower and has been telling me this for years. Love the trees you found too. So clever. (Donna)

Unfortunately I had a very un eco-friendly Christmas this year, artificial tree (which is at least six years old), but the worst bit for me was that I had to buy all the vegetables for the Dinner this is the first time I can remember that we have had to do this. The vegetable plot we have normally provides all we need but this year due to the unusual weather I was not able to harvest anything so had to resort to shop bought produce which was not very tasty either. (Anonymous)

TheGardenLady loves to hear from her readers.  I was especially  interested in the comments about having an eco-friendly Christmas.

I appreciate the comment from Donna who enjoyed the Christmas photos and TheGardenLady’s support of real trees. Thank you.

I was saddened to read that one lady was unhappy this Christmas because she felt that hers was not an eco-friendly holiday because she did not have a real tree, but used her 6 year old plastic one. And she was unhappy because her vegetable patch was covered with snow so that she had to buy vegetables. I imagine that she lives in a part of the UK where snow is unusual.

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Did You Have An Eco-Friendly Christmas?

Curitiba’s Recycled Xmas Tree by Garota Sem Fio

How eco-friendly was your Christmas this year? How many of TheGardenLady readers chose the real Christmas tree over the manufactured one?

More and more scientists are proving that a real tree is really more environmentally sound than the plastic trees. The NewYork Times had an article telling about the scientific studies that prove this. See here. The firm Ellipsos had done the study using Christmas trees grown in Quebec or manufactured in China and said that “The annual carbon emissions associated with using a real tree every year were just one-third of those created by an artificial tree over a typical six-year lifespan. Most fake trees also contain polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which produces carcinogens during manufacturing and disposal. ”

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Christmas Tree Candles and Zimsterne Cookies

Christmas Tree Candles 2009 by steveluscher

One of the most wonderful Christmas trees that I have ever had the good fortune to see, I saw when I was first married. I won’t tell you how many years ago. My husband had recently finished graduate school and I had two small children. We lived in an apartment complex where an international community of graduate students lived. One of the couples was from Switzerland who lived near us had two little children. When Christmas time came the wife told me that she was getting all the decorations from Switzerland. But most important, she had asked her parents in Switzerland to send her all the handmade Christmas decorations and the special candle holders and candles that were used to decorate a Christmas tree in Switzerland. And she told me that when the tree was decorated she would invite me and my family to see her tree.

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Potted Christmas Trees

…and the final product! Happy Christmas everyone! by David Stephensen

TheGardenLady thinks there is nothing lovelier for Christmas than a cut, fresh tree. But of course, there are those who don’t want to see a tree cut, or who don’t have the room for a large tree. Or there may be those who would like multiple Christmas trees in the house for the Holiday season and either don’t have the money for numerous large trees nor the room for numerous Christmas trees.

Whatever the reason, why not consider buying a tree in a container or if you find it with burlap around its roots. Go to your local nursery. Many are still open during the holiday season. Check out their small evergreen trees in pots. Some will hold the tree for you to be picked up closer to Christmas. When you bring it in, it can then be decorated and used indoors during the holiday season. And hopefully it can be planted in your or a friend’s garden or kept on your balcony or patio after the holiday is over. How to care for the tree is here.

The tree goweth by KTandCoffee

Many dwarf evergreen trees or young evergreens can be brought indoors with root balls intact and decorated for Christmas and then kept alive outdoors to perhaps be used indoors next Christmas.

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Buying Live Christmas Trees

Thanksgiving is over and now the next focus for many is Christmas. If you are buying a Christmas tree, the question is often, “should it be a live tree or a plastic Christmas tree?”  Of course, you know which TheGardenLady is going to recommend. This column will be about why to buy live trees for the holiday. 

Did you know that you are helping to support the American economy by buying live Christmas trees?  Between 100,000 and 150,000 people work in the Christmas tree business. Just as there is a push to buy produce locally, when you buy a fresh, live Christmas tree you are basically buying locally since Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.  Christmas tree growers have about 1 million acres just for growing Christmas trees. And some of these farms allow you to go and have the family fun of choosing and then chopping down your own tree.

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Excellent Site for Christmas Tree Information

Christmas Tree HDR by baltus15
Christmas Tree HDR by baltus15

TheGardenLady recently found a site that can help people who have questions about Christmas Trees or just want to have fun with Christmas Tree puzzles. This is a great site that will answer any and all of your questions about Christmas Trees. This site will help dispel myths about Christmas trees; it will tell you what you want to know about keeping the tree alive; best trees to buy; whether the trees are safe or not; and finally how to dispose of Christmas trees in your area after the holiday. Check out The National Christmas Tree Association.

Swarovski Christmas Tree by lionko
Swarovski Christmas Tree by lionko

Christmas Themed Plants


TheGardenLady received this question from Sally:

Are there any other Christmas themed plants other than the mistletoe?

There are numerous Christmas themed plants and there is a long and interesting history of the reasons for the use of these plants during the holiday season. Many of these holiday themed plants are used in the US today. TheGardenLady will touch on some of the most popular Christmas plants. Common holiday plants are listed in this website, where there is a lot of interesting information given besides the list of holiday plants. In other parts of the world they may also use different plants.

The first Christmas plant materials, as told in the New Testament, were Frankincense and Myrrh. Both are resins of trees used as incense or fragrances. They were the most expensive substances in early history and were therefore the highest tribute offered. Both were and are used today as fragrances. Franckincense is from the Boswellia sacra tree and Myrrh is from the Camphor tree, Commiphora myrrha. They are are found in Oman, Yemen and the Northeast part of Somalia. Oman still produces perfumes made of Frankincense or on you can get soap made of Frankincense and Myrrh- All Natural Bath Soap – Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Bar Soap by Indigo Wild, 3oz. or Frankincense and Myrrh can be bought as fragrant oils or for incense.

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