Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas has come and gone and if you are like me you may be wondering what to do with our Christmas tree? For over twenty years we have had an artificial tree but in preparation for our eventual move we sold it and bought a real tree this year.Christmas Tree

 

Recycle Your Tree.

In many towns they offer curbside pick up for recycling your tree. Many providers will collect trees during regular pick up schedules on the two weeks following Christmas. Unfortunately this is not an option for us.

 

Take your tree to a drop off recycling center.

Most counties have free drop off locations. Usually you may take your tree to the drop off location for no charge.

 

Yard waste.

Cut up your tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container.composting, prudent living

 

Place the tree in your garden or backyard and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary.

Tie fresh orange slices or string popcorn to attract the birds and they can sit in the branches for shelter.Treats for the birds!

 

Mulch.

Cut up the branches and put them through a chipper and use as mulch in your garden. Rent a wood chipper and invite your friends and neighbors to bring over their Christmas trees for a wood chipping party. Distribute chips to everyone.Christmas tree

Create fish food and habitat.

If you have a lake or pond on your property consider dumping your tree into it. That old pine or spruce provides a natural and decomposing habitat for fish and will attract algae for them to eat.Mid Pond and original mansion.

 

DIY Coasters.

Use your band saw or hacksaw to cut your Christmas tree trunk into coasters and trivets. Make sure you sand down the surfaces and stain and seal them before using to prevent the sap from leaking. You can gift them next Christmas!Christmas tree

 

Make Firewood.

Chop up your tree and use it for fuel in your fire pit. While the needles will dry out quickly, you may need to wait a few months before the log is dry enough to burn.Christmas tree

 

Create a brush pile.

A brush pile often consists of leaves, logs and twigs so an old Christmas tree can make a great base. It directly benefits the wildlife in your backyard during the winter months because brush piles and dead trees offer food and needed protection from the chill.

 

Did you have alive tree this Christmas? What do you do with your old tree?

I grew up with the tradition of going out with the family and cutting down a live Christmas tree. We would head out to a local tree farm, find the perfect tree and cut it down. After we were married we continued this tradition with our children. We did this every year until we moved to Florida and there were no local tree farms around.

 

The first year we lived in Florida our friends shipped us a live tree from LLBean! Yes you can actually ship a live tree through the mail! Not the small tabletop trees they now sell but a full size Christmas tree!Christmas tree

 

When we moved into our first home in Florida we decided that perhaps purchasing an artificial tree would make more sense. At the time (early ’90s) we spent what we thought was a lot of money on an artificial tree – $189! It was a beautiful tree that you would assemble branch by branch. Turns out it was an amazing investment as we used the tree for the next 21 years averaging out to a cost of $9.00 a year! We even moved the tree to Vermont and used it every year!Christmas tree

 

With an eventual move coming up and trying to get rid of the things that we will not move we decided to sell our artificial tree. It was still in excellent condition and although it had lost some needles over the years when it was decorated you really couldn’t tell it was fake.Christmas tree So we sold the tree this fall. Hoping that perhaps we’d have an offer on our home before Christmas.

 

Well that didn’t happen and here we are celebrating yet another Christmas in Vermont. No children or grandchildren home this year but we decided to go out and purchase a live tree from a local tree farm.Christmas tree

 

Our tree is adorable but half the height of our old artificial tree. Not to mention this tree must be watered every day as we have a woodstove and the tree tends to drink water! I imagine the tree will have to come down shortly after Christmas because the needles will start falling out.Christmas tree

 

Bottom line, when we eventually relocate to the Pacific Northwest we will once again invest in an artificial tree. Although I love the smell of a fresh tree the pros of an artificial tree out weigh the enjoyment of a fresh tree.Christmas tree

 

With an artificial tree you can set it up the weekend after Thanksgiving and it will still look as good for New Years. You don’t have to worry about daily watering. The branches are sturdy and can actually be moved so you can hang an ornament just right! The only downside besides the lack of smell is the fact that you have to store it each year.

 

What sort of tree do you have? I was always a live tree type of person but over the years I have changed my mind!frugal tips, prudent living

 

 

 

The Woodstock Wassail Weekend is a holiday tradition that sees the town come to life with festive holiday events and attractions the second weekend of every December.Wassail Parade The weekend’s nonstop schedule includes a parade, concerts, craft fairs, holiday house tour, and much more. Often named one of the prettiest small towns in America, the village of Woodstock, Vermont becomes the ultimate holiday destination during its annual Wassail Weekend.Wassail Parade

 

The highlight of the weekend is the Wassail Parade through the center of Woodstock with more than fifty horses and riders dressed in holiday costumes and period dress from the early 19th Century.Wassail Parade Spanning the entirety of downtown, the Wassail Parade winds past the stately First Congregational Church before circling the town green and the Woodstock Inn, where each entry is formally announced.Wassail Parade Throughout the route, upbeat crowds lined the street, waving and clapping and calling out “Merry Christmas!”Wassail Parade

 

Mr. Claus himself usually puts in an appearance and then heads on to our Little Theater where he greets the children at the magical “Christmas Visions.”Wassail Parade

 

The merriment of the parade, paired with the Christmas-drenched scenery of Woodstock (a town already celebrated for its visual charms), is an utter delight.Wassail Parade

 

After the parade, as the Yule log burned low, volunteers lighted the 400 glowing luminaries.

 

When you think of Christmas pie you may think of pumpkin or pecan pie, but I think of Cranberry Apple Pie. Many years ago my (ex) brother-in-law introduced me to this fabulous variation of an apple pie and I will forever be grateful! Whenever we spend Christmas with family I am asked to make this pie. After all these years when I think of Christmas pies I think of Cranberry Apple Pie.Cranberry Apple Pie

 

I always use the pie pastry recipe from King Arthur – you can’t beat it. Perhaps it’s the fact that they only use butter, but the crust is always flaky and delicious. If you have your own pie crust recipe that’s fine, but I strongly suggest checking out the pie pastry recipe on the King Arthur site.

 

Christmas Pies: Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Ingredients:

 

Use a basic pie crust recipe for a double crust 9” pie.

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp flour

¼ tsp salt

2 cups cranberries

½ cup raisins (optional)

4 tart apples (Pippin or Granny Smith work best), peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Freshly grated zest of one orange

2 Tbsp unsalted butterIngredients for Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Roll out your pasty for the bottom crust and line a 9” pie pan. Roll out top crust an set aside.

In a large bowl stir together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the cranberries, raisins, apples and orange zest. Toss to mix well. Pile the fruit mixture into the pastry lined pan and dot with bits of butter.Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Cover with the top crust, trim and flute the edges. Cut a few vents in the top.Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Continue to bake until the crust is browned and the fruits are tender – about 40-50 minutes.Christmas Pies, Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Perfect to enjoy at the end of your holiday meal! Christmas Pies, Cranberry Apple Pie

 

Always good to the last bite!Cranberry Apple Pie

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