Greetings and happy holidays! And apologies for my extended absence. The thing is, I just haven’t felt up to cooking, eating or doing much of anything these past few months. I’m 14 weeks pregnant today and just now gradually emerging from the fog of sickness and exhaustion that was my first trimester. Didn’t think my steady diet of bagels and clementines was really worthy of a blog post :).
We moved into our first house a year ago, on Christmas day, and I’m so happy with the difference a whole year makes! This year, instead of unpacking boxes we will be hosting our first Christmas dinner, cooking in our new kitchen. And of course, it would not be the holiday season without our first Christmas tree.
I’ve always been solidly on the real tree side of the debate. The smell and texture of a live tree in your home is just one of those quintessential things about Christmas. And I’ve always believed they’re the more eco-friendly option. Artificial trees are made of petroleum, whereas real trees do cycle carbon, provide habitat, prevent erosion, etc during their lifetimes.
I have been reading recently, though, about the inordinate amount of pesticides and fertilizers that are used in many tree farms throughout the country. Christmas tree farming is a long-term investment. When you plant a sapling, it can be more than a decade before that tree makes it to a market. The market also demands a perfectly shaped, fully and bushy tree. This necessitates a pretty chemical-intensive farming model to ensure a large and speedy return on investment!
With the purging of chemicals on my mind lately, this concerned me. How could I cope with the cognitive dissonance that perhaps, PERHAPS, my beloved real trees were not the most environmentally sensitive choice after all? I started googling to see if there were any organic tree options in the DC area. Turns out there is exactly one: Licking Creek Bend Farm sells their sustainable Christmas trees to order and also weekly at the Adams Morgan farmers market. So into the city we went in search of the perfect tree.
We came home with the most beautiful and fragrant concolor fir, cut only days earlier. Its branches may be a little more sparse than your typical generic tree, but I think it looks natural and perfect in our home. You’d think an organic tree would be astronomically expensive, but they had a variety of price points and the one we selected was comparable to the prices you’d find at a nursery.
I also very much believe in decorating your tree with ornaments that are sentimental, meaningful, or handmade — no color-coordinated, themed trees in my house! So since this is our first Official tree, it seems a little sparsely decorated as we slowly build a collection. But I still love it.
2012 so far has been a very special year to us, and I’m so happy to celebrate this holiday season with my loved ones and welcome in the new year. Excited to see what 2013 will bring! Best wishes to a beautiful holiday and prosperous new year to you!