Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Flip Flops Are Hung By The Chimney With Care

As the end of 2011 nears, I've been checking off all the significant dates on my calendar. I just survived National Undo the Top Button of Your Slacks For One More Bite of Turkey Day. But I sat out Black Wear A Football Helmet To Shop for Deals At Midnight Friday.

On the heels of these revered holidays comes the ever-perplexing fortnight known at our house as Are We Gonna Get a Christmas Tree This Year? Let's face it, Santa Barbara isn't exactly the land of winter holiday icons. Segways are more practical than one horse open sleighs, LEDs take the place of icicles on our eaves, and there are only so many tiny surprises you can conceal in a flip flop.

Last night Lin and I discussed going treeless for the first time since our now-21-year-old son, Benjamin Cosmo, was born. We've outgrown needing a spot for Santa to leave the 12,347-piece Wuthering Heights-themed Lego set our boy once coveted. Even better, there'll be no rearranging of furniture, and no worries about Biff the Wonder Spaniel lapping sappy water from the tree stand.

If you're certain about having a Christmas tree this year and want to make the most environmentally enlightened decision, you've probably wondered what's the greenest way to go. If you're on the fence, let me lay out a few options to consider.

Read my five alternative ideas at

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