Reported as news, the final two months of the year play an abnormally large role in the American economy. Is it profit procrastination to hope all falls in line in the last two months of the last fiscal quarter? Does this create an economic bubble that is bound to pop?
Should shoppers dare to follow our January 1st post of 2009, Thrift Shopping a New Year's Resolution Revolution, retailers will have to change if we remain steadfast and Shop Like Pioneers and seek out the holiday gifts, which we know we're going to give, year round. When we have more time to shop, we just might actually find something worth giving and redefine the Art of Giving on terms with what the recipient needs or likes.
Must we really all race like lemmings to the stores at 5AM the day after Thanksgiving and trample to death the store guard? I’ve never been able to figure how shoppers can do that after feasting on L-Tryptophan-laced turkey not even 12 hours prior.
"This looming Black Friday, I urge people to
replace shopping with chopping!"
For over decade my family scores a $10 permit from the National Forest Service to wander a designated area near the quaint town of Buffalo Creek and hunt for our holiday tree. This particular program helps remove forest fire fuel and helps set the terrain straight, as Mother Nature would have it be. Smokey the Bear makes an annual appearance at this event.
We bring our sleds and Thanksgiving leftovers to the hunt. Sometimes it snows, making it idyllic. We drive home with a tree on the roof of the car, hot cocoa, and holiday tunes on the stereo.
Our trees are fresh, just a few hours from the forest so they go up early. Who knows how long it’s been since the trees in the parking lot bid farewell to their roots? Harvested in Oregon or North Carolina, they can cost over $100.
I suggest people to take Thanksgiving leftovers to the forest as a picnic for a holiday tree hunt. Permits are up for grabs now, often in limited numbers and sell fast. Any Internet search engine will list local options. Typical time frames for chopping are in late November to mid December. If you are along along the Front Range in Colorado, you can contact The South Platte Ranger Station for information regarding this program. Perhaps living in Colorado makes me a bit spoiled because National Forests spread far and wide. So, I apologize the options are few to none. (I guess there wouldn’t be that many options in El Paso or Palm Springs unless cacti are available.) A quick Internet search will reveal what programs are available in your area.
One bit of tree hunting advice; the forest provides a different perspective. A big tree can look really, really small, when dwarfed by giant trees and set against a panorama of mountain ridge lines. Our first experience resulted in 15-foot tree we thought was only a baby, so we had a bit more sawing to do one we arrived home. But, we did make good use of the extra greenery.Now, I must get back to wrapping gifts to mail. Doing this now saves me from the killer lines at the US Post Office and saves money. I ship ground, not Priority or worse, Next Day Air. Some people think I’m nuts, but come mid December they’re nuts and I’m playing dominoes while sipping cocoa and mackin’ on cupcakes
We've come to find that the best trees come with their own decorations of Douglas Fir pine cones and a wee bird's nest from time to time.