Walking down the city streets of DC, I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend. Tossed carelessly on the side of the road are the carcases of Christmas trees, whose branches danced with twinkling lights and ornaments through December, now lay dry, brittle and naked, only to be taken to that garbage dump in the sky.
They lie unceremoniously at the side of the road; not standing tall as they did in life or while on display, but collapsed on their sides, helpless to stay upright without roots or a stand to support its shapely figure.
If Christmas trees knew that they were being grown, farmed only to die, would they reach to the sun to photosynthesize as willingly and manage the brisk winters for the 10 or 15 years it takes to achieve that robust stature, only to be cut down in its prime and stashed in the corner of a living room representing a commercial aspect of a Christian holiday (which is, consequently, Pagan in its roots)?
Are plastic and aluminum trees the humane alternative? Perhaps they are the tofu, the vegetarian option, of the holiday world. Although, there is something to be said about authenticity–the real thing (this statement may or may not be crossing the line into other life discussions, use imagination).
What’s more disturbing are the Christmas trees that don’t make it to the curb until the end of February. Holding onto Christmas spirit too long? Or is it giving a tree that died for our garish holiday decorations a longer lease on life?
Either way, as much as I enjoy a Christmas tree dressed in a kitschy fashion, it’s demoralizing to see it strewn on the side of the road, its glory ripped from its branches and its legacy wasted in a landfill.
Rest in peace, Christmas trees. Perhaps the lucky ones will be reused as firewood and enjoy a marshmallow roasting over its warm embers.