The Christmas tree that keeps on giving
Dear Heloise: I would like to know if you have any suggestions or ideas to offer regarding recycling Christmas items besides the normal paper, glass, cardboard, lights, etc.
— Linda M., Springfield,
Ohio Linda, let’s talk trees. Recycling the Christmas tree (“treecycling”) is really a no-brainer for the environment. Municipalities can use the trees for erosion prevention and fish habitation (by sinking the tree into a pond), and the city zoos can give their animals clean, used Christmas trees. The animals play with the trees, and some even consume them.
Another possibility? Bring in your stripped tree (no tinsel, ornaments, lights, “snow,” pine-scent spray residue, etc.), and your city may mulch your tree right there, and you can walk away with fresh mulch for your yard.
Check your city’s website for more information, or call the municipal services number, 311. These programs usually begin the first week of January.
Dear Readers: Meet Baxter. Baxter is John C.’s Old English sheepdog, and he’s 6. He weighs 100 pounds but looks bigger. He loves riding in the truck. He also loves people, other animals and, especially, baths. Every night, Baxter puts John and family to bed.
To see Baxter and our other Pet Pals, visit www. Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.” Do you have a furry and funny friend? Send a picture and description to [email protected] Heloise.com, or mail it to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 782795001. We can return your picture to you.
Dear Readers: Here’s a fun tradition to start with your kids and grandkids: tracking Santa’s flight on Christmas Eve through NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command. (His sleigh is recognized as “undoubtedly friendly.”)
You can follow his progress at www.noradsanta.org, or call 877-HINORAD. This phone line opens at 3 a.m. PST on Christmas Eve.
P.S. Santa’s travels also can be tracked on many of the social media platforms.
Dear Readers: Do you need a last-minute centerpiece? Take a colander and turn it upside down. Insert artificial (or live) flowers all throughout the piece.
Tuck some greenery in between the flowers, and ensure all the holes are hidden. Makes for a pretty domed centerpiece. Surround with pine cones and other greenery for texture.
An issue of storage
Dear Heloise: A local grocery store chain occasionally offers “buy two, get one free” on certain items. This offers true savings on the items, but those items requiring freezer storage can prevent people from taking advantage of them.
— Mary H. in Arlington, Virginia Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to [email protected] Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.