In regards to the article "The Zen Approach to Christmas," I guess Zen has different meanings for different people. I am not so sure it means going out into the forest to find the "perfect" tree, killing it so one can use it for several weeks and then throwing it away.
Haven't our forests suffered enough with fires, drought and beetle kill? Now our forests are threatened with holiday revelers, glass of eggnog and rum in one hand and a chain saw in the other. For a real Zen experience, let me make the following suggestions:
1. Buy a potted, live tree that you can use for several years, until it is too large to get into your home. Then, and this is the Zen part, you plant it in your yard. As you plant it you can think about all of the trees that you did not kill. My daughter recently bought a live tree for $70. She expects to use this tree for at least three years and then plant it in her back yard. That figures out to $23.33 a year for three years—what a bargain.
2. Buy an artificial tree that you can use over and over each year. I don't consider this as Zenful as a live tree, but we have used our tree for 15 years now and after decorating it, it is as beautiful as any "real" tree you might find (OK, it doesn't smell like a cut tree—so you're going to kill a tree just for the smell?). I figure we have saved 15 trees over the years and a lot of money.
Rick and Anne Dressell