When the holiday is over and it's time to put everything away, you put the presents in the closet, the toybox, the basement or garage, or maybe in the kitchen, depending on what it is. The decorations and lights come off the tree and get put in their traditional location. Hopefully you don't hurt yourself while doing so. Finally, there's the tree: stripped of decorations, dry and dropping its needles on the floor where they will poke your bare feet in the morning if you're crazy enough to walk out there barefooted. You'll be lucky if none of the glass ornaments got broken to add their injuries to your feet with those of the needles.

old tree

So what are you going to do with the tree? Most people just put it out by the road to be picked up by the disposal trucks dedicated solely to the collection of trees, and uncerimoniously carried away to some embarrassing location: a mass grave of pines, firs, spruce trees, and a few unnoticed decorations or hooks left behind in the dismantling. Is this the way to end the life of an evergreen tree, after it gave the ultimate sacrifice for your enjoyment of the season?

Could you show the tree the same respect you would have for the passing of one of your loved ancestors? Couldn't the tree be cremated? Even if the local government has passed some regulation (they don't even honor it with the word "law") against burning, you could take the branches one by one and put them in the fireplace, the wood stove, or as a last resort, a special spot in the back yard not too close to the dog house. How about in the grill? Or is it gas? With a few slices of a saw the trunk can be cut into managable sections.

Before Christmas everyone was roaring around in trucks or other gas guzzling vehicles to pick up trees and presents giving no thought to the melting of the ice cap at the north pole. I agree the earth may be warming, and if the polar ice does melt, where will Santa Claus live? Would Christmas end? If we can warm the earth before Christmas as we warm everyone's heart for the season, what about the tree afterward?

It's also reported by the experts that the ice caps on Mars are melting, too. Just as the government authorities dedicate a certain amount of the public funds for the collection of the trees after Christmas, can't they dedicate the simple cremation of these honored trees to the melting of the ice caps on Mars? That simple act might protect the polar ice caps here on earth, and thus save the home of Santa Claus.

I know children are not allowed to vote. But writing letters to the Mayor, just like writing letters to Santa might have an effect. Public outcry has been used against global warming. Let's let the children demand that trees cremated after Christmas only melt the ice on Mars, even if there isn't much left. Otherwise, Santa might move there! The Martians would get everybody's presents next year! None of us want that to happen.