Enjoy your holidays with a modern christmas tree

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recycled christmas tree
This Christmas tree is made entirely of recycled bottles!
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A modern christmas tree: the eco-friendly alternative to traditional trees

Selecting and decorating the family Christmas tree is one of my very favorite traditions of the holiday season. Typically, my father, my sister and I head to our favorite local Christmas Tree Farm at the end of November.

We hike through the snowy hills taking the time to consider the shape the height and the width of various trees. Eventually, my sister and I select a tree, and my father saws it down with his old hand saw. Fastened to the roof of our car with ropes or bungee cords, the tree travels home, through the cold New England forests, to our cozy living room.

My mother usually puts on some Christmas carols, and we enjoy a plate of Christmas cookies as we carry the boxes of holiday lights and Christmas ornaments down from the attic. Decorating the tree is a family affair. We all take turns un-wrapping the various colorful, whimsical ornaments, many of which are family heirlooms that have been passed down through the generations.

Although so much joy is associated with decorating the family Christmas tree, I have often felt quite melancholy at the task of cutting down a beautiful, healthy evergreen tree. In an age where we must deeply consider the environmental impact of our choices, many families are now opting for modern Christmas tree choices that are more environmentally sound.

If a live Christmas tree is an important tradition for your family, consider the modern Christmas tree option of a live potted tree, which can be replanted in your yard, or donated for replanting after the holiday season. Visit your local nursery for a complete selection of available potted trees. When purchasing a live tree, it is critical to keep the root ball in tact. Check out the National Christmas Tree Association, for more information on caring for live trees.

If you wish to make your Christmas holiday a bit more exotic, consider other potted houseplants such as ficus trees, plumeria or potted palm trees. Rosemary and lemon cypress plants are also ideal alternatives to Christmas trees, because they grow in a natural cone shape and they boast enchanting aromas.

Another option for your tree is to purchase an artificial tree, which may not sound like an eco-friendly option, but consider that you will re-use this tree year after year. A silk tree, either tradtional or a non-traditional cone-shaped tree, is a lovely choice.

Other modern Christmas tree ideas include trees made from plywood, cardboard, tin cans, aluminum cans, plastic bottles or other recycled materials. If you want to teach your family about the importance of recycling and reusing materials, the holiday season is the ultimate time to undertake this adventure. Recycle for the holidays! 

Gather your friends and family around to participate in the fun project of building a unique modern Christmas tree from recycled materials. Visit the non profit organization EcoFriend to view images of ten delightful and unusual modern Christmas trees made entirely from recycled products. 

Although the Christmas tree has become an important fixture in holiday tradition, it is important to remember that ultimately, Christmas is about holiday spirit. There are many ways to engage your friends and family in brainstorming unique modern Christmas tree alternatives, and cultivating new eco friendly traditions.

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