By Diane Ako
Is it really time to think about this again?? It is. Christmas planning is about to get into full swing.
We were not big on holiday decorations until we had a child. Now, though, for Olivia's sake, we want to erect a Christmas tree and let her decorate it.
Unfortunately, the environmentalist in me doesn't care for the idea of importing firs from the West Coast, taxing our already-understaffed agricultural department, and inevitably introducing more alien species to the Islands. (Coqui frogs: ugh.) I also don't love the idea of adding to the global carbon footprint by having a cargo ship chug across the ocean with these slated-to-die-soon trees.
My idea of reconciling my green values with my desire to observe deeply ingrained American traditions for my child's sake, is to grow my own. My dad bought us a small Norfolk pine last year and we've been growing it all year, so it's about 4 feet tall. Not a towering, full-figured fir, but it's still taller than the child at this point, so it'll do.
It lives in a pot because I do not want to have a 70' tall tree in my backyard in the future. Also, this way, I can bring it in and out of the house as needed.
I'm still tinkering with the idea of having us chop one down, anyway. It might be a fun experience. I like that we have a Christmas tree farm, Helemano Farms, right here on Oahu. The idea of homegrown trees appeals to me. It will have hundreds of Leyland Cypress trees and thousands of Norfolk Pine trees available for the 2012 holidays.
"Visitors also can see the young varieties of lovely new sophisticated Christmas trees we will sell during future holiday seasons! Located in Wahiawa in Central Oahu, the farm has been growing Christmas trees for a decade. We open for the 2012 holidays the day after Thanksgiving," invites the press release.
They cut and wrap it right there for you, and prices start at $40 a tree. I have no idea what that buys, but even if it's slightly pricier than the tree lots at the local grocery stores, I'm willing to pay more to accommodate my beliefs. I'm curious to see their Leyland Cypress trees in pots. If theirs look better than my somewhat scraggly Norfolk pine, I may have to trade up.
What does your Christmas tree look like?