The Christ­mas tree that keeps on giv­ing

Antelope Valley Press - - Opinion - Hints from Heloise

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.

— Heloise

Pet pal

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. and click on “Pet of the Week.” Do you have a furry and funny friend? Send a pic­ture and de­scrip­tion to [email protected], or mail it to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San An­to­nio, TX 782795001. We can re­turn your pic­ture to you.

— Heloise

Track­ing Santa

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 at­rad­, or call 877-HINORAD. This phone line opens at 3 a.m. PST on Christ­mas Eve.

— Heloise

P.S. Santa’s trav­els also can be tracked on many of the so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

Colan­der cen­ter­piece

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.

— Heloise

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] I can’t an­swer your let­ter per­son­ally but will use the best hints re­ceived in my col­umn.

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