The stars are hanging on the front yards, mistletoe are a welcoming sight, the air is chill but it’s a season of love and warmth that brightens up many faces and hearts. Christmas is here yet again, to bring us closer to the One whose birth many celebrate on December 25. What a joyous thing to celebrate and share with everyone, a decoration of the earth with praise and thanks to God.
Christmas is celebrated all over the world and in India especially in the Northeastern states. The region resounds with joy and happiness during this time of the year. Different group of people celebrate Christmas in different ways but certain features are seen similar or rather followed by all in association with Christmas.
One such ritual is related to our environment which I want to highlight this Christmas. It’s liked by many people of all age groups – young and old alike, and many have come to believe that Christmas celebration is incomplete without it. It represents a symbol of hope and new life. And it’s a place where you will find your Christmas gifts – the Christmas tree.
There are several stories on its origin and inclusion into the big day’s celebrations. Today, world over, people decorate the Christmas tree and hence the demand for Christmas tree, which is usually the fir or the pine tree, is very high during this time of the year.
In my hometown, people usually opt for pine trees as the Christmas tree as these are easily grown and available throughout the state. Unlike in Delhi where one can only get to buy artificial Christmas tree, people in the northeastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and others use the real fir or pine tree. Many pine trees are cut down every year while some people have started growing fir trees in their houses to be decorated every year during Christmas.
As environmentally conscious people and in order to ensure more trees remain on the face of the planet, there is a need to adopt alternate or healthy means of involving the Christmas tree. One such way could be to promote the growing of fir or pine trees in our own respective houses, provided if we have the space. Secondly, we could plant more pine trees for every single one we cut during Christmas – a tree for a tree.
A massive tree plantation can be carried out before or after Christmas. Thirdly, if the previous two options seem impossible, one can always go for an artificial Christmas tree easily available in the market. There again, one has to be careful about the material the artificial tree is made up of. Use a plastic tree only if you will be able to use it in at least three years.
As we celebrate the hope of the gospel and for new life, let us do it the best way and green the world to pave way for a better and greener world. Let us all promote eco-friendly ways of celebration like using bio-degradable plates instead of thermo plastic made. Bring out your green ideas to make this Christmas a blessing and not harm to the environment.
Wishing you all a blessed and wonderful Christmas…God bless us all.
Image by sherene via Flickr courtesy Creative Commons
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