First, I have a request to make of you. There’s a massive food shortage at food banks around the country. The Capitol Area Food Banks can use all the donations they can get for this holiday season (and all the time, really). They’re having a non-perishable food drive December 14th (next Friday), so if you can stop by one of their truck locations in DC/MD/VA and give, or get something to one of their drop-off centers at that website some other day, it would mean a lot to a lot of hungry people. Best way to make your holiday sustainable is to help make sure other people have a good one, too.
Second, I have a Christmas tree. After a couple (or maybe 4…) wrong turns, we located Oak Shade Farm, which is somewhere out near Rixeyville, VA- a little over an hour’s drive from where 66 and the Beltway intersect. It’s actually not that hard to find, we just had a few difficulties involving signs and reading them and such. Anyway, I found my tree. There it is, in its live, organic glory. It’s a white pine- very fat and fluffy, and about seven feet tall. The finding and cutting and tying-on-my-car’s-roof didn’t take very long, which is good, because I had some important bunny-holding to accomplish. Yes, they fit in one hand, and they were so soft it was difficult to determine when one was petting them. As an additional benefit, adorable children were also attracted to holding the adorable bunnies, so there was this perfect storm of cuteness hovering over the tree farm. If you’re looking for a tree, head to Oak Shade: free hot cider, bunnies, mountain vistas, and big nice-smelling organic trees for $40 and under. Even with the cost of gas, that makes them less expensive than the scrawny, sad trees in lots around here.
My tree is now up and watered, and is waiting for its trimmings. I picked up a couple of strings of LED Christmas lights today. Target had a small selection of them, but it looked as though the lights had already been picked over. I have a few strands of regular Christmas lights already, but LED lights use about 1/10th of the energy of the regular lights, last years and years longer, and emit much less heat, so there’s very little danger of them igniting your tree if it gets a little crispy. Regular light strings tend to use much more energy precisely because they lose so much of it to heat. So LEDs are more expensive to begin with, but they’re safer and last longer. Well, actually, from my experience people give up on light strings because they balled them up the year before and can’t get them untangled the next year, and LEDs aren’t going to solve that particular issue. So wrapping them up neatly is just as big a deal as having a good set to begin with. Maybe the extra up-front cost will be an incentive to treat them more carefully? I’ll post pictures when I get around to sprucing her up (it’ll be hard, she’s such a pine…).