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Using Trees to Bring Christmas Cheer

Christmas tree
Christmas tree

December is here, and we are well into the Christmas season. With the generosity that permeates this season, I thought about ways we could honor trees, help our local communities and do something positive for the planet on which we live.

 

I didn't have to come up with my own plan, because the business in Farmington, NM, where I buy a lot of my flowers and bushes, San Juan Nurseries Inc., already has a great plan in mind. It might be a fun Christmas season activity to check with the nursery in whatever town, state or country you live in to see if that nursery also has a plan involving trees for the Christmas season.

 

Here's how the one at San Juan Nurseries works. People may come in to buy a live Christmas tree in a pot at the nursery and use it in their home for a Christmas tree. After Christmas is over, they can donate the live tree to the city of Farmington or to any other business that participates. If you are going to do that, San Juan Nurseries will give you a discount on the purchase of the tree.

 

If you donate the tree after Christmas to the city of Farmington, the city will use it in medians and parks and around corporate buildings. The nursery is working with the city on a botanical garden at Gateway Museum. Some of the trees will be used on the river walk, a lovely trail system along the Animas River that runs through Farmington. Gateway Museum may also use the trees in other ways that promote the Christmas season and keep the trees alive and healthy.

 

I am sure San Juan Nurseries and the city of Farmington are not the only nurseries and cities that have plans to promote planting trees in the community. Check out your own favorite nursery in your own town to see what opportunities are available to spread Christmas cheer and allow you to support businesses and the community as well.

 

It brings a smile to my face to think of all the live trees that could be added to my community so that it benefits from the many wonderful things that trees do for us.

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Gardens and Trees Unite Us

Cottonwood with three trunks

I have a little backyard garden where I grow tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, asparagus, sweet red peppers, beets and carrots. It has been fun sharing some of my bounty with neighbors. The young neighbor family whose backyard abuts my backyard, is fun to interact with. They have two preschool kids who get so excited when I give each of them a carrot or a tomato. Sometimes their dad sends them to the fence between our yards with a couple of sweet juicy apples from one of their trees.

 

I sometimes think about that apple tree and how it and my garden have become a sharing conduit between my neighbors and myself. How wonderful that we can still be connected in ways that help us all feel cared about and appreciated.

 

I walked with friends today through the neighborhood for exercise. Seeing so many trees along the way made our walk even more beautiful and provided shade when we needed it. Trees have so much to offer us. I wanted to capture some of what they can provide in my book, Healing with Trees: Finding a Path to Wholeness. When people see me around town, they sometimes make a special effort to tell me how much that book means to them.

 

Trees have so much to offer, and I am delighted when people discover they too can have a connection with trees. People may enjoy a shady spot under tree branches to rest in. Or they may sense a welcoming feeling coming from certain trees. It can be an adventure to notice trees as you take a walk. One thing most people notice is how many trees there are all around us. It's fun to see what happens as you acknowledge the trees you pass and appreciate their beauty.

 

Sometimes that focus on trees and other plants can create a connection between you and a neighbor or someone you didn't know before. As I discovered with my garden and my neighbor's apple tree, trees and other plants have a way of helping us reach out to each other as we create loving community connections.

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