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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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101 Things...

101 Things to Do with a 
Dead Christmas Tree

There it is in the middle of the living room, the once live Christmas tree drawing its last breath. Now some people may just want to leave it there for a conversation piece until next Christmas. But most of us sooner or later figure we have to do something else with that tree.

On television they suggested that you bring your tree to the local park and let it be chopped up into mulch. That seems environmentally sound and a good enough suggestion for the creatively challenged. But, if there are 101 things to do with a dead cat, surely there must be at least that many things to do with a dead Christmas tree.

Naturally, I now have to list them:

Well, we might use it for a coat tree, or hat rack since itís already in the living room and handy. If you live in the south, you can put it on the front porch with the old couch and washing machine, or chop it up for firewood.

Of course, there are many, many other things. We could use it as a planter and let it be covered with climbing ivy. We could use the branches to fashion dried floral arrangements or winter centerpieces.

We can use it for a decorative money gift tree, assuming we have any left after Christmas, or a shoetree We can chop it up and use it for kindling, toothpicks, or a game of pickup sticks.

We could use it for a kitty scratching post, a perch for pet birds, or a handy pet pit stop We could stick berries or fruit on the dry branches and make a natural outdoor bird feeder

We could use it for an umbrella tree, recipe holder, mug tree, or to hang towels in the bathroom. With needles removed, it would make a great closet organizer. It could be used as a lingerie rack, necktie rack, or organizer for belts.

Branches could be removed for numerous uses, such as, feather duster substitutes, toilet brushes, pot scrubbers, toothbrushes, or back scratches. Branches could be tied together and used as a broom, or bug swatter.

It could be taken outside for target practice, put in the lake for fish beds, used as a fence post, or dressed up to become a scare crow.

Needles could be used to stuff cushions, pillows, or stuffed toys to save the environment. They could be woven for floor mats, rustic place mats or wall hangings.

Needles can also double as landscaping mulch around shrubs, and provide nesting materials for birds and wildlife. But there we are being practical again.

How about making snowshoes from limbs, using the tree as a sled, tying together branches for a hula skirt, or using the tree for a dancing partner.

It could also be used to celebrate other holidays. In the spring it could be used for a May Pole or an Easter egg tree. Branches would make great torches for a party, or the tree could be used for a bonfire on Halloween.

If you live in the south, you most likely could add bacon grease and cook up a mess of Christmas tree needle greens since we cook and eat about anything else thatís ever been alive.

Now I know that isnít quite 101 things, which probably goes to show that even a dead cat is more useful than a dead Christmas tree.

After Iíve listed all these ideas, I suppose you still intend to haul your tree to the park and get it made into mulch?

Thatís certainly what I intend to do with mine!

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss


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