Trees Indoors
This page is about; celebrating with evergreens inside homes during winter as a centuries old tradition connecting us to our ancestors, Nature and Spirituality and about the three tree choices; potted, cut and artificial.

A synopsis of the book, "The Christmas Tree", by Daniel J. Foley

The best stories about the Christmas Tree have never been written. Much of the feeling imbued by a lighted decorated evergreen is hard to be put into words. A lit up decorated tree is a beacon for the soul.

The significance of celebrated trees in the history of humanity down through the ages extends back to remote times when the world was populated by wandering tribes, some ten thousand years ago. Back in those misty times in the primeval forest, when our ancestors cleared land, they would leave a grove of trees in the center. Among the trees stood a central tree known as a "Mother tree". From that tree stemmed all action of life and pursuit of spiritual belief.

The use of evergreens, cones, and fragrant herbs in the making of wreaths and garlands for festive and spiritual occasions is an ancient lore traced to present day. Records dating back to the Egyptians clearly show natural items like evergreen bows, palm leaves, thorns, and all sorts of plant material were used in ritual, festivities, church, celebrations, traditions and day to day life for scents, medicine, gifts and more. Such behaviors were social, practical and Spiritual and created bonds and a feeling of bounty. Early in the seventh century, Saint Augustine of Canterbury was advised by the Pope to encourage such popular customs, because they are an inherent part of human spirituality. At that time the Church began to make pre-Christian customs part of Christianity. Flowers and plants were ascribed to the Madonna and the early Christian Martyrs. It's likely that the tradition of celebrating with evergreens indoors in winter had pre-Christian origin. The earliest record of a specific tradition of a decorated tree indoors during winter was a Christmas tree in 1521, in Alsace, Germany. In the middle ages 'mystery', 'miracle' and 'paradise' plays were performed during advent, the four weeks before Christmas. There were no printed books in those days so the plays were a way to pass on to new generations the cherished customs and traditions of the culture. The plays started with Adam and Eve and ended with the resurrection of Christ. As the plays gained popularity in the fifteenth century natural elements were blended with Christian theology. Spiritual and materialistic influences blended in contrast. A pronounced prop in the plays was a fir tree decorated with apples representing the Garden Of Eden. That's why TOLCTCs logo on the first page of this site has red decorations- the original Christmas tree. People in Europe carry on that specific style of Christmas tree today.

The enjoyable feeling during gazing into a decorated evergreen while cooped-up indoors during winter, with family and gifts/bounty surely are a connection to the great Spirit (called many names), our ancestors and Nature.

This section has TOLCTCs experience-gained ideas on Christmas trees:
Cut (natural), Living (potted) and Artificial (plastic).

Our mission is to, "increase the popularity of the Christmas tradition of celebrating with natural trees indoors". TOLCTC works to promote cut and living (potted) Christmas trees. The more people celebrate the Christmas tree tradition, the more people will choose living (potted) Christmas trees. We can feel better about each Christmas tree option because each has different benefits, decided by each persons situation. Generally speaking, cut trees would again become popular and fewer folks would choose artificial. Living trees have a long way to go to rival cut trees in popularity.

Cut (natural) Christmas trees, are grown on farmland. When people stop buying cut Christmas trees, they are left to grow tall until a wind storm blows them down (because they are planted so close together). They're grown on farmland so maybe another crop will take their place. Abandoned Christmas tree fields don't become a forest. The Willamette valley in Oregon is where around 80% of the Christmas trees for the whole world are grown. There are literally miles and miles of Christmas tree fields. Those millions of trees grown because of the Christmas tree tradition clean the air every day of the year. Get that? And, cut Christmas trees are a major agricultural crop for the state of Oregon. The money spent on the tradition by families all over the world provides money in Oregon for libraries, schools, roads, and the whole economy. Cut Christmas trees are just like cut flowers, they are Nature, beautiful, aromatic.
Cut Christmas trees can be recycled, chipped up into mulch which is used in landscaping. Eventually that mulch is incorporated into the soil. To recycle cut trees, the easiest way is chop it up and put in curbside yard debris can. (Ask your garbage hauler.) If that service in unavailable, in every community there are usually organizations that will accept your tree, for a donation of a few dollars, and they'll chip it up. Boy Scouts and Churches are such organizations. In Portland, call the Metro Recycling Information Hotline to learn where to drop off your tree, 503-234-3000. The website has a service providing information on specific places that chip up trees into mulch in most zip codes in the US. Here's the biggest point in this section: the general population (even groovy people) think that choosing a cut Christmas tree is bad for the environment. There's even a popular phrase of, 'killing a tree for Christ'. But as we've proposed, that's not accurate. Another cut tree aspect is, some people choose to cut a tree from forest land. Some buy a permit from the Forest disService and cut their Christmas tree on public forest land. Even if one doesn't pay the government the fee, that tree is IN a forest and would otherwise live as part of the forest system for hundreds of years. Cutting a tree on public land does feel like, šit's my land. I want a tree from My Forest in my house. I don't want to let the world forest issues bring me downš. To wrap up, the reason for this writing is to promote cut trees if it's not practical for you to have a potted one. 

Living (potted) Christmas trees are described throughout this website.  See our 
Order form page to see if a living (potted) Christmas tree is the option for you. PS- potted trees are the only 'tree' option because a cut tree isn't a tree and an artificial tree isn't a tree. Get it?

Artificial (plastic) Christmas trees are the least expensive if used for several years, which is a totally reasonable consideration if one is on a fixed or sensitive budget and $10 - 80 dollars once every December is a consideration. Artificial trees are the best choice for businesses and / or anyone who wants a tree indoors for a month or so, (cut and potted trees dry out, dropping needles). In the same way we like fiction, an artificial tree is a symbol of Nature and can be enjoyable. Artificial trees have exponentially increased in popularity recently. Unfortunately, research has shown the main reason for the dramatic increase in popularity of artificial trees is due to the general populations growing concern for the environment. Hmm huh? Buying an artificial tree is not an environmentally friendly option, no way, no rational. Even the air pollution (carbon dioxide) is higher with an artificial tree used for years. Artificial trees are made from plastic which are made from petroleum, fossil fuel, crude oil. Artificial Christmas trees end up in the landfill someday, they can't be recycled. A lot of Artificial trees are made overseas so any benefit economically goes there mainly. Some people are allergic to cut / natural and living / potted trees so that's a ligit reason for getting an artificial tree. The point of this is that if you have an artificial tree, instead of putting it in the garbage, artificial trees can be donated to a social service agency.

Word of mouth is fun and effective. We all have more power than we realize, seriously. Of course, the reason we're confused on issues, generally, is because we don't always think things through and the Christmas tree enters our decision making consciousness for like three hours a year and thinking things through isn't sometimes pleasant. But sharing ideas can be rewarding, like we do with other 'news', "I heard...". It's fun to stick up for Nature and spirituality. A Natural tree, cut or potted is honoring Earth & Spirit. We say this because potted trees are fabulous, really, just fabulous. Thank you. Enjoy a cut tree or an actual (potted) tree and Merry Merry Christmas.

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