When you need a little Christmas, any time of year,
I have some Care and Presents, some Love and Hope and Cheer.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A New Tradition

One of the things we hear a lot at The Living Christmas Company is "...but our family tradition is to go and pick out a tree together!" or "we go to this special location in the mountains and we can cut our own tree, we do it every year!"
I think traditions are great! They keep cultures alive and meaningful. Sometimes, however, I think we can adjust our traditions, and make them our own. For example:
         Joe and Betty always bought a cut tree for Christmas. They'd pack up the kids, go down to the nearest lot and together pick out the best, most beautiful tree ever. It was their tradition. They'd bring it home, put lights and decorations on it, and for a while it was the centerpiece of their everyday lives. It would be so beautiful, that each time they'd walk past it, they'd smile. There was a feeling of holiday warmth.  When Christmas was over and things started to settle down a bit, they'd take off the lights and ornaments and drag it out to the curb to be picked up.  That's just how it went, and that was fine, and yet...the tree always looked a little sad lying there on the street. The color seemed drained out, it no longer sparkled with twinkling lights, and the needles had started falling off. (In fact, Betty would be sweeping up needles for weeks.)
          The next year, Joe and Betty went online and found http://livingchristmas.com/. It was a little bit more expensive, but on the upside, there was no strapping the tree to the roof of the car or trying to squeeze it into one of those tree stands with the water pan.  Scotty Claus's elves delivered the tree and set it up right where they wanted it. Although it was different from the trees that were at the lot, it was still full and beautiful. Joe and Betty winked at each other, knowing they had the only one of it's kind on the block. They put lights and decorations on it and for a while it was the centerpiece of their everyday lives. It was so beautiful that each time they'd walk past it, they'd smile. There was not only that feeling of holiday warmth, but of life. When Christmas was over, instead of dragging it out to the street (trailing needles galore), the elves came back to pick it up and take it to Scotty's Christmas Tree Forest. But wait! Joe and Betty liked that tree so much, they asked if they could have it again next year. After all, it was alive, right? It would in all likeliness still be alive the next year right?
         Scotty Claus curled his mustache, and told them "As a matter of fact, you can have this exact same tree next year." He explained that if they just signed up to "adopt" their tree (and they had to make sure they did sign up), that he could have it bar-coded and identified as Joe and Betty's family tree. They could even name their new Christmas-time member of the family. They named her "Gladys", as in "Glad Tidings" or "Glad to have you here."
          This year Gladys came home again. Scotty and the elves took care of her all year; she weathered the weather, and was still standing tall. Instead of packing the kids in the car and going to a lot, their new tradition is to have a little family party when Gladys comes back for the holidays, sort of a "Welcome Home/Merry Christmas/Let's Get the Season Started" party. The kids look forward to seeing Gladys again, almost like she's a present in herself...and she is in a way.
          Whatever your tradition is, hopefully it is filled with warmth and life. Enjoy your Christmas with friends, family and whomever (or whatever) you consider family (including pets, trees, furniture...).

Merry Christmas,
Stay Merry!

Care'n Presents

Do you have a story about your Living Christmas tree? E-mail me at carenpresents@livingchristmas.com.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What's on YOUR Christmas tree?

One thing I love about Christmas trees is that there is truly no right or wrong way to decorate one. Long ago when I was living with a friend and we were well...broke, we put snack sized Frito and Doritos bags on our tree. I knew someone who decorated their potted ficus tree. (Hey, one of the first "living trees", lol). There are some people whose trees are like works of art. They have a theme or a color pallet, or some kind of design. My tree, on the other hand is "eclectic". There are antique ornaments that have been passed down in my family, right next to home-made kindergarten ornaments made with love, by my kids. We have Disney ornaments and ornaments made in foreign countries like Indonesia. Personally, I think our tree is the best in the world.

What I don't have (yet) on our tree, is a Yeti. In my opinion, everyone needs a Yeti or two. I'm sure some of you out there might argue that point. "An abominable snowman?" you ask. Oh no! "Adorable Snowman!" (Monsters Inc., right?) The Living Christmas Company has some of the most adorable snowmen, AKA Yetis, anywhere. You can't just buy these in any old store either!  They love to live in Christmas trees, or so I've heard. I'm thinking with the lights and all, it's a lot warmer than a cave in the Himalayas. The best part is, that you can't look at these guys and not smile.

How can you get your own Yeti? I'm going to tell you! Just go to
http://livingchristmas.com and across the top where it says "ORNAMENTS" click on the drop down "Tibetan Ornaments". You'll find them there, smiling at you as if to say "Take me home". How can you resist?

Merry Christmas!

Care'n Presents

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Z is for...

It seems funny to be getting to the end of our Living Christmas alphabet, at a time when our company has just had a fabulous new start!! For those of you in the North Pole where there is no television reception, and those of you who well, just don't watch TV, our beloved Scotty Claus was on the show "Shark Tank". No, he wasn't wearing a wet suit, he didn't feed live sharks or (thankfully) get eaten by one. "Shark Tank" is a show where people with big ideas try and find people who believe in them. Hopefully those believers will be willing to invest a lot of money too.  Scotty Claus took a risk that the Shark Tank investors wouldn't just chew him up and spit him out. He pitched his Living Christmas idea and...Yay!! Mark Cuban decided to take a risk and invest in Scotty. You thought Scotty smiled a lot before? Hugs all around! All of the elves (including me) are so excited we can hardly keep our hats on.

Oh, but wait...before I forget why I was here in the first place...

Z is for Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z

This is what you are supposed to be doing on Christmas Eve when Santa comes. This is also what Scotty Claus has NOT been doing since...I think, September.  I'm thinking maybe after Christmas, or at least after the trees get picked up after Christmas, or maybe after they get picked up and resituated at the farm, then he'll catch some Zs. Possibly it will happen after the adoptions are all registered in February...
Sorry, Scotty. A Claus's work is never done. Sleep is over-rated anyway, right?

Take a nap. Relax and have a Merry Christmas!

Care'n Presents

Monday, November 26, 2012

Y? because it's Christmas time, silly!

Can you believe we have almost made it through the entire Living Christmas alphabet? Thanks to all of you who have been reading these posts. You have probably noticed that I've slowed down a bit, but what can I say? An elf has other priorities at this time of year! I am determined to finish this alphabet though so here goes. Just two letters left.

Y is for YOU!

...as in Be YOU tiful!

and YOU can make a difference, even it's in a small way. Of course I would LOVE for everyone to rent a Living Christmas tree, and so would Scotty Claus, but when it comes down to it, not everyone lives around here, and there are other various reasons why people can't rent a tree. We can all, however, make the world a better place to live in. We can do that by just picking up that trash on the ground (even if it's not ours) and by walking a little bit farther to the bin marked "Recyclables" instead of just tossing that soda can in the trash.  Scotty Claus does it with his Living Christmas trees, but he also makes the world better with his smiles and laughter and hugs.  We can do it by caring about people more than we do about getting that gift that is just going to collect dust on Aunt Josephine's dresser; or the tie that will be hung up in the closet and worn twice a year. We can do it by yeilding the right of way at the mall parking lot instead of zooming around like it's the Long Beach Grand Prix. Make the world a better place one baby step at a time or however big a way you can imagine. It's up to YOU.
YOU can. Really.
Hugs for Mr. Tree

Merry Christmas!

Care'n Presents

Friday, November 16, 2012

X is not for...

 X is for X-mas? Bite your tongue! No no no! Who says Meeeeeerrrrrrrryy X-mas? Seriously, it just doesn't work. Yes, one could argue that actually, the whole abbreviation started about a thousand years ago. The "X", sources says, is actually "Chi" the first letter of the name of Christ in Greek. Some people say that the X represents the cross, and a symbol of Jesus' sacrifice. Some people have no idea whatsoever, but figure that "X-mas" takes up less room when they are painting scenes on the glass outside of their businesses. Whatever reason one might have to use the term X-mas instead of Christmas, begs the question: how hard is it to say "Christmas"? Do you really want to hear children caroling ♪ "We wish you a Merry X-mas, we wish you a Merry X-mas..."♪ ?? Yeeeaah, no. Like I said before, it just doesn't work. X is not for X-mas.

So for lack of any other words that begin with X, I've decided that X should be for Xylophone, because (as Shel Silverstein says) "X is always for Xylophone!"*

Merry Christmas, and don't forget to play your xylophone when your Living Christmas tree comes to stay for the holidays! There's still time to order! X marks the spot at

Care'n Presents

Some informations from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4097755.stm
*Quote from "Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book" by Shel Silverstein
photo: aforangela.com

Monday, November 5, 2012

W is for...

I considered waiting on this one, because it may make more sense once we start delivering trees, but what the heck. It won't be long now anyway.

W is for...WATER YOUR TREE!!

I was at the Orange County Farmer's Market over the weekend, and a few people asked me. What happens if my rented Christmas tree dies while I have it?  Well, just like any living thing, the goal would be...not to kill it. On the upside, our trees are fairly easy to take care of. Mainly, you have put it somewhere away from heaters or fireplaces, water it (not too much of course) and occasionally say nice things to it and give it a (gentle) hug. Consider it part of the family, but one who requires a lot less maintenance than say...a teenager, or a two year old. For more details on how to care for your Living Christmas tree check out:  http://livingchristmas.com/info/tree/care.php Of course you'll need to order one first, haha.

Merry Christmas!!

Care'n Presents
photo: thegreenhead.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

V is for...

Sometimes I wonder if the alphabet was put into the order it is, because of the average usage of each letter. I mean, did someone decide that the letter A is used the most so it should be first?  These are the things that fill an elf's mind...along with the song "You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why..."

So here we are at "V".

Since I had a rather serious/scientific-y post the last time, I thought, I need to get one that's a little more uupbeat. So my V word is:


As in, a VERY Merry Christmas!                          
A VERY beautiful Christmas tree!
A VERY lovely time will be had by all. 

I wish you many VERY wonderful things this season.

Merry Christmas
(a Very Merry Christmas that is.)

Care'n Presents

photo: missionviejolife.org

Monday, October 22, 2012

U is for...

♪♫ Up on the housetop reindeer pause,
out jumps good ol'  Scotty Claus! ♫♪

When I was growing up, we never had a fireplace. Of course I still expected to hear Santa's reindeer on the roof even though we didn't have a fireplace for him to come in. So how did he bring all those gifts to my elfling siblings and me? Obviously he came in through the mail slot in the front door, duh. 
Christmas is all about believing. Sometimes it's not easy to believe in things that other people look on as a "dream".  Scotty Claus wanted to make Christmas more Earth friendly, more tree friendly, and more environmentally friendly. Let's face it, he's a friendly guy. One of the things he does is to replant the trees once they've become too big or just not suitable to be Christmas trees. He lets them "retire" and at the same time, adds some greenery in places that need it.

Urban Infill and Urban Forestry  (our official U words for today)

In the off seasons our trees live in their cozy little pots on brownfields (unused industrial lands) where they suck up carbon and produce lots of oxygen. This improves air quality and combats global warming (how cool is that?).  Our retired trees also help with storm water run-off, and of course add beauty to well, wherever they are planted. Some things are just nicer to look at than others, don't you think?

Merry Christmas!!

Care'n Presents

Imagine 1000 Living Christmas trees instead of just brown.
photo: njtpa.org

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

T is for...

Wow, it's been awhile since my last post I think. We've been getting busy at the workshop! Orders are beginning to come in. Yes I know it's only October, but our trees are special. Once you go Living Christmas, there is just no substitute! I know you may be thinking:  T is for TREES, but when have you known me to go for the obvious? Well, okay besides that time, and the time before and...you're missing the point!
So what pray tell, am I offering you as my T word? Easy. TIME.
There are things so much more important about Christmas that you won't see just anywhere. Forget about what to buy your Aunt Bessie or your second-cousin Joe. Yes, we all know people who need things: a young couple with a baby could use baby clothes or maybe a friend lost their job and could use a dress shirt for interviews. For the most part though, there are a lot of people out there that have more than enough. What they don't have is time. Unfortunately this is not something you can buy. I'll tell you a secret though...are you listening very carefully? (or reading, that would be more accurate.) You can make time. It's not always easy, but it is possible. The funny thing is that when you make time, other people seem to be able to make time too. I suppose it's contagious in a way. Okay, for those of you who think that yes, Care'n has gone off the deep end, I'll explain.
Have you ever noticed that when someone you care about bumps into you at the store or some place random, when you leave you say something like "Hey, we need to get together!" This hardly ever happens. On the other hand, if you call someone out of the blue and say "Hey, what are you doing right now? Let's do coffee!!" They might hesitate, and start to say, "Gosh I'm really busy." After a moment thought it's likely they will say "You know, I think I can squeeze some time away!" You made the time, and they found the time they thought wasn't there.
So take some time, make some time, and definitely give some time. It all goes by way too fast, and those people you want to get together with, may some day not be there, and then there is no time at all.
Today, I'm giving you a mission: call someone and don't say "Let's get together sometime," but instead say "Let's get together now. Right now."

Merry Christmas!!

Care'n Presents

photo:  artdoms.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

S is for...


What starts with an S, ends in an S and is filled with jolly Christmas cheer?
Why, Scotty Claus of course! He's the founder and Jolly Ol' Soul of The Living Christmas Company. He's dedicated to changing the way people view Christmas and dreams of a greener Christmas for all. Granted, he occasionally shoots his elves with a nerf gun at random moments during the off season, but hey, he's just trying to keep us on our toes. He plays Christmas music all year round (mostly in his head I think, but in the workshop too). If he could give the whole planet earth a great big hug, Scotty Claus would definitely do it. Since he can't, he focuses on who and what he can hug...his elves, family, friends...and well, a whole lot of Christmas trees. As we get closer to Christmas, I would almost swear he has begun to jingle when he walks.  He's busy making improvements for the company and getting everything ready so this can be the best Christmas Season ever.

Ho Ho Ho!! Meeeeeeeeerrrrrry Christmas!! (I think I hear him now!)

Merry Merry,

Care'n Presents

for more about Scotty Claus' mission...

Friday, October 5, 2012

R is for...

I always feel a little bad when I go for the obvious choice, but what kind of Living Christmas elf would I be if I didn't say that R is for...


I know some of you might be thinking that recycling is a pain, but depending on where you live, it can be very easy. In our area, we have a special bin that we put all of our cardboard, glass, plastic etc. in an it gets picked up on trash day. Easy, right? But what if you don't have that option? A lot of grocery stores have recycling collections in the parking lot, and you can get money for your recycled items there. Even if you don't have pick up, you don't feel like taking your cans to the store parking lot, or even sorting the stuff in the  first place, there are still things you can do! 
"Reuse-Reduce-Recycle". (All R words too!) Use something more than once. Use that plastic grocery bag as a waste can liner instead of going out and buying a roll of liners. Use the container your sandwich meat came in to put leftovers in.  There are lots of ways to keep our planet green, that aren't really too hard. (Need I mention renting a living Christmas tree instead of a cut tree? Nah, I didn't think so...)

To see how we are keeping green check out:

For more information on recycling:

photo: openairbigbear.com

Merry Christmas!
Merry Merry!

Care'n Presents

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Q is for...

Okay, I know it's been awhile, but c'mon, Q? Not the easiest letter to do...but actually I did think of something:


When I was just a wee elfling, my mother used to tell me on Christmas Eve, that if I was very still and very quiet, I might be able to hear Santa's sleigh bells. So I would lie there in my bed, not moving a muscle, and as quiet as a mouse, listening. After what seemed like hours, I would think, did I just hear something? I was certain I heard the feint tinkling of bells. I'm not sure if I was actually slipping into dream-land by then, but before I knew it I was fast asleep. When I got older, my suspicion was, that it was all a trick my parents played to get me to go to sleep. Did I hear the bells? Still not sure, but it was fun trying.

Not to sound like a broken record, but I just wanted to say again, that it the midst of the craziness of the Christmas season, a little quiet time might be nice.  Stick a peppermint stick into your cafe mocha, open up a  book and relax for a while. Inhale the scent of your Living Christmas tree. I like to look at those magazines with pictures of beautiful holiday place settings, that I know I could probably never pull off, and dream of some elegant cocktail party I'll have some day.  Whatever floats your boat. Quiet is a good thing...well except when you have kids and it gets "too quiet", in which case it could be dangerous, hehe.
Enjoy the quiet of the season when you can.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Merry,
Care'n Presents

photo: amazon.com

Monday, September 24, 2012

P is for...

"Pine" comes to mind of course, but I thought that there was something of even more importance than your next Christmas tree. (Imagine that!)

Peace on Earth.

Frankly, I'd settle for peace at home, or even peace in my heart. We can all use a little peace, right? I know we technically haven't gotten even close to the holiday season, but it's never too early to start planning a little peace for yourself. Make a promise now, to take a break here and there. In between the shopping and the party planning and the gift wrapping, take a deep breath. Call a friend and go out for coffee. There's probably a Starbucks in the mall if you don't want to take too much time out.  It all gets too crazy and there is too much to do. It's easy to get stressed and agitated and before you turn green and furry, lashing out at all the little whos around you...find a little "piece" of quiet time.  Read a Christmas story to a child. Call your mom or dad. Spread a little peace instead of spreading more stress around, like fertilizer.
When you are planning all your events and activities, leave a few calender squares empty, but highlight them so you don't fill them with other stuff. These will be your "peace" days.
PLAN ON NOT PLANNING ANYTHING.  Really. Hundreds of years of being an elf means I have experience on this subject. How do you think we all do it year after year?

Start now. Take a deep breath...

Merry Christmas,

Care'n Presents

photo: William Salas

Sunday, September 16, 2012

O is for...

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

I apologize for going for the obvious choice this time, but I couldn't resist. The cool thing though, is that when I looked up this song, I found out some really groovy things. This song started out as a German folk song, (OTannenbaum) and originally, it didn't have anything to do with Christmas. Tannenbaum just means "Fir Tree" and the song was about the fact that these trees were evergreen, and symbols of consistency and devotion. Re-written into "modern" lyrics in 1824 by Ernst Anschutz, verses were added which included a Christmas theme. 
This all got me to thinkin' about the idea of an evergreen tree being a symbol of faithfulness...something constant. This makes living Christmas trees make even more sense! The trees are meant to be evergreen, for forever or as long as possible anyway. Cut trees don't get to stay green. They dry out and die, which is why Scotty Claus started this whole Living Christmas Company in the first place. Our trees live on, like true love, or family memories, or that wine stain on your favorite throw rug. (Sorry, it was getting way too serious.) 

So lets all sing to our trees (when we get them) to thank them for being loyal, beautiful and green for another Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 

Care'n Presents

photo and information found:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Tannenbaum

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

N is for...

Naughty? or Nice?

As far as Scotty Claus is concerned, if you are renting or adopted a Living Christmas Tree, you are on the "Nice" list. Seriously, would a naughty person care about the environment? I think not. This is not to say that if you don't get one, you are on the naughty list or anything, it's more of a gold star, or brownie point kind of thing. We all should do something to make our planet a better place. As long as everyone does what they can, we'll see a better tomorrow. 

I tried to find a Christmas song for N and the only one I found was called "Nuttin' for Christmas" by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett.

I'm getting nuttin' for Christmas
Mommy and Daddy are mad
I'm getting nuttin' for Christmas
'Cause I ain't been nuttin' but bad.

Clearly, this kid is on the "Naughty" list.  Maybe he should get a Living Christmas tree, haha. Hopefully all of you out there are working on being nice. Christmas seems kind of far away, but I have a feeling it will be here before I know it. Being nice when we're all stressed out around the holidays can be tough, so practice now. We elves try to practice every day.

Merry Christmas!!

Care'n Presents

Photo:  kidzcoolzone.com

Saturday, September 8, 2012

M is for...

♪♫♪♫ "Mamacita, donde esta Santa Claus?" ♪♫♪♫

As I think I have mentioned, my boss, Scotty Claus is multi-lingual, so I couldn't very well get through this Living Christmas alphabet without a little international flair. If you've never heard this Christmas song, check it out on youtube (link below) it's really cute.  

M is also for Monterey Pine, another one of the types of trees you can rent from The Living Christmas Company. I tried to find out some fascinating backround story about these trees, but really the only thing I could find was that they were "first noted" by a guy named Thomas Coulter while he was in, yes, you guessed it! Monterey, California.  The scientific name for this tree is Pinus Radiata, which I think sounds like the name of a Christmas tree angel or something. Doesn't it?  I even looked up Thomas Coulter, and there wasn't a whole lot a fun stuff about him either. He was Irish, which earns points from me. He was known for his work in Mexico, which I suppose ties in the cute little Christmas song I picked out. 

Sometimes you have to be creative. 

Merry Christmas!

Care'n Presents


More information:

Friday, August 31, 2012

L is for...

Well...let me think...oh! I know!! 

L is for Living Christmas!!

Seriously, what did you think I was going to say?  Oh, I realize there are plenty of Christmas words that start with L, like Lights and Love and Ladies Dancing, but Living Christmas is pretty close to my heart, so there you have it. I've pretty much given you the basics of the company. We rent beautiful trees, drop them off, pick them up and take care of them all year. The trees stay alive which is good news for them. They smell wonderful and are safer because the are not dead and drying out in your living room causing a fire risk. This is good news for you. Did you know that plastic trees can give off chemicals into the air that are harmful to people? Something to think about anyway, right?

So if you haven't already, check us out at 

Since we're not in full swing quite yet, I don't think you will be able to place an order, but if you can still get information and even see video clips of Scotty Claus in the News! 

Speaking of getting into full swing, I better get busy!  Merry Christmas!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

K is for...

"Kissin' by the mistletoe..."

You just gotta' love Aretha Franklin. I hadn't actually heard this song before, but I was searching for a Christmas song that started with K and there it was. 

So I started thinking about mistletoe, and why we like to kiss under it. I mean, I know why some of us like to kiss, well, in general, but how did the tradition start? I thought if I looked it up it would be a nice neat little story, but alas, no. The stories behind this plant go way back to Norse legend, ancient Greek times and Celtic Druids! At some point through all of that, people decided that this parasitic poisonous plant should be a symbol of peace, love and friendship during the Holidays. Go figure. Well, whatever the reason, I'll be waiting as always for a special kiss.

And while we're talking about peace, love and friendship, I thought of something else that starts with K:
Keep Christmas in your heart. Don't get caught up in the craziness. Keep the love, and try and find the peace. Pray that it will last all year long. Just my two cents there. :)

Merry Christmas!! 

Care'n Presents

Photo: statesymbolsusa.org (Did you know Mistletoe is the State Floral Emblem for Oklahoma?)

Want to know more about mistletoe? 

Listen to Aretha!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

J is for...

"Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock..."

Ever notice how some Christmas songs make you want to get up and dance?  Granted, some of them are more likely to lull you to sleep, and some are merely cheerful, but there are some... They get your toes tappin' and your shoulders boppin'. If you never learned how to swing dance, somehow you find a way to fake it. I love those songs! Christmas can be a difficult time for people and even we elves can get stressed out. There's so much to do that it can become overwhelming. So here's what I think: In the middle of it all, take a deep breath, put on some music, and do the dance. Be goofy for a while! Embarrass your kids! Surprise your parents! Amuse your friends (and probably innocent by-standers). Believe me, I'm an elf; I know what I'm talking about. Everyone needs a break sometimes.

J is also for "Jolly Disposition".

This is a quality that Scotty Claus looks for, whenever he hires each elf, and he is the jolliest of them all.  With a twinkle in his eyes, and a smile on his face, he tosses that five foot long hat of his over his shoulder and hugs his trees. (We all think he's a bit off-kilter too, but really, what's the difference?)

So when you start to feel the pressure this holiday season, think "Jolly", set aside whatever you're doing and for a few minutes, hug a tree, smile at someone, wear a silly hat, or just dance up and down the department store aisles like a lunatic.  I'm not a psychiatrist; I haven't even played on on TV, but I am an elf, so take my advice: all those "have to's" can wait. Take time to remember that Christmas is supposed to be fun, and magical and a bit off-kilter. 

Merry Christmas!!

Care'n Presents

Photo: film.com 
- from one of my favorite Christmas movies: "Fred Claus"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I is for...

"I'm dreaming of a GREEN Christmas..."

What? Did you really think I'd say "white" Christmas? What am I, crazy? (Don't answer that.)  I live in California, and don't get me wrong: I love snow. I like to visit it once in a while, and then go back to my neighborhood, 30 minutes from the beach, where it's considered cold if the temperature dips below 60. What I'm talking about here, however, is a different kind of green. It's more the eco-friendly green. It's the planet-loving, tree-hugging green. 

I is also for IDEA. 

People lately have been coming up with some great ideas to keep this world human-friendly for years to come. Sure, we can keep going the way we are: allowing waste to collect in landfills and the oceans, and depleting our resources. The world could last for a long time, but would it be a nice place to live? I'm thinking not. Scotty Claus didn't think so either, so he had the idea to start The Living Christmas Company. He's hoping the idea will catch on. 

Now before this post gets way too preachy, I found some other great songs that start with "I".

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
I Saw Three Ships
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
I'll be home for Christmas
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

So keep singing, and keep thinking. Maybe we can put our ideas together and make this a truly green Christmas, or white, if that's what you prefer. Merry Christmas!

Care'n Presents

Some information from:  http://xmasfun.com/lyrics.asp

Photo: pathtogreen.wordpress.com

Sunday, August 12, 2012

H is for...

"Have a Holly Jolly Christmas...."

I love how in the Christmas Classic "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer", the animals decorated the trees in the forest just as they were. Of course who knows where they got all the tinsel and ornaments, but they all seemed to have a great time. I watch that movie every year, and every year I cry when all the other reindeer make fun of little Rudolph, I mean, wow, even Santa turns his back on the guy. Okay, I'm a sap; I cry watching Hallmark commercials. What can I say? We actually have a rule in our house that we are not allowed to watch any Christmas movies until at least November and even then it's movies like "The Holiday" and "Sleepless in Seattle'. These are movies with Christmas in them, but not necessarily "Christmas" movies. "It's a Wonderful Life" is traditionally watched the day after Thanksgiving, and after that, anything goes.
Sometimes I watch these movies and think, wow, what a great fantasy. Too bad real life is not really like that. Yet there is still a part of me that needs to believe that while these fantasies are completely unrelated to my life, the central idea in them is always the same: Hope.

So H is for... HOPE

Think about it. Every one of those Christmas movies leaves you with that same feeling: the hope that this world could somehow be a better place, that people can change for the better, that circumstances can improve, that there will be a better tomorrow, or a better future. 

Scotty Claus saw how Christmas trees were just being discarded and hoped he could find a better way of providing this wonderful symbol of Christmas without the sad waste. So he came up with the Living Christmas Company. His goal was not to make a gzillion dollars as much as to make people see that there is a better way of doing this great tradition.  He knows it may not be for everyone, but he hopes it will make a difference, one Christmas tree at a time. So maybe think about it...and meanwhile...

Merry Christmas!

Care'n Presents

Photo: digitaldreammachine.com

Thursday, August 9, 2012

G is for...

G is for GREEN!! 
...and while, to quote a famous frog, it's not always easy being green, there are a lot of things you can do that are fairly easy. Just recycle a few things now and then. Try to conserve resources. Plant something. Start small, and after a while it will be second nature. 
On a more literal note, green is a lovely color. Being an elf I see a lot of green...clothes, shoes, hats...but one of my favorite green things is a tree. 
No, really...it is. I'm not just saying that because I work for Scotty Claus. I love trees. I love the way some of them smell. I love how there are so many different types of trees. I love that people and trees have this great trade off. We breathe in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide; and trees (and other plants of course) take in the carbon dioxide and give us the oxygen that we need,
(...and there's our science lesson for today, folks, hehe).

Another great G word is Gifts. Every year The Living Christmas company tries to donate trees to charities and special programs that bring Christmas trees into homes and places that might not otherwise be able to have one. Most times the best gifts aren't under the tree. Sometimes it is the tree. Sometimes it's the love someone gives whether there's a tree or not, and whether it's Christmas or not. 
So like I always say (even in August) Merry Christmas!!

Care'n Presents

photo: en.wikipedia.org

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

F is for...

"Feliz Navidad!"

That's Merry Christmas in Spanish. Sadly, that's about the extent of my Spanish, other than food. I know you're thinking: You're an elf! You should know other languages! Let me dispel that misconception. Santa speaks every language. Scotty Claus speaks a LOT of languages. We elves...not so much.  Speaking of international things brings me to an important phrase that starts with F:

Fair Trade Ornaments. At The Living Christmas Company, we offer a lovely array of Fair Trade and Recycled ornaments to decorate your living tree for the season. "Fair Trade" items are those purchased from developing countries in order to help them out. We give them a fair price and they give us a high quality item. So check out our website at http://livingchristmas.com/index.php and click on "ORNAMENTS" to see all the beautiful decorations for your Christmas tree. I know you'll love them!
Peruvian Ceramic Ornament

Care'n Presents

Saturday, August 4, 2012

E is for...

What else? 

E is for Elf! 

That would be me: one loyal, hard-working, somewhat crazy elf! There are lots of us and we do lots of different types of things. Most, of course, have the glamorous job of working in Santa's workshop on the North Pole. Personally I think that job is over-rated, but don't quote me. I don't want to offend any of my relatives or friends up there. Working for Scotty Claus is much more fun. The other day he got us milkshakes. All they get at the Pole is hot chocolate...day after day. Seriously, how much hot chocolate can you drink? Okay, I guess I do enjoy a bit of hot cocoa now and then...but I digress. Where was I? Oh yes...working for Scotty Claus. 

This brings me to another E word: Evergreen, just like the trees we have here at The Living Christmas Company. Evergreen trees are called that because they stay green all year long, at least when they are in nature. Our living trees take love and care to stay green and beautiful, but we do our best to keep them healthy all year until they are ready to be rented or adopted at Christmas time. When the trees get too old or big to be Christmas trees anymore we always try and plant them somewhere, as part of an Urban Reforestation Project which is good for the Environment. Hey, another great E word! 
Scotty Claus' elves replanting.

Merry Christmas!  

Care'n Presents

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

D is for...

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, falalalalalalalala..."

What are you, nuts? Have you ever stepped on a holly leaf? You start putting that stuff in your hallway, and after one barefoot adventure, you'll be thinkin' twice about all that falala-ing. You'll definitely be singing a different tune.  So let's keep the holly outside, and in the ground where it belongs.

The trees at The Living Christmas company may not be in the ground, but they do live in pots with dirt so they stay alive. Living trees are happy trees, and happy trees smell better, and last way longer. So, aside from D being for "Decking the Halls", the only other thing I can think of is:

D is for Delivery.  
One of the coolest things about The Living Christmas Company is that instead of you trying to tie some tree onto the roof of your car and driving through town thinking the entire time "Please, please, don't fall off!" our elves can bring the tree to you. How cool is that? Then, after Christmas, instead of dragging it out to the curb, leaving a huge trail of needles behind, our elves will come and pick it up again. Now we can't guarantee there won't be any stray needles, at least it will be carried off as carefully and safely as possible. 
We can deliver the trees, you provide the love that will surround it. It's not about the gifts, it's about the "presence".

Care'n Presents

photo: voices.yahoo.com

Monday, July 30, 2012

C is for...

In the immortal words of someone I've admired since I was a wee elfling:

"C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me..."

Seriously! Oh, I know I could have said "C is for Christmas" but that seemed a little too predictable. Besides, cookies make the world go 'round. My mom's name was Ginger, as in Ginger-bread, and she made (and still makes) the best cookies in the world! No really, I checked. I personally have never met a cookie I didn't like. I guess cookies aren't too big a stretch from "Christmas" when you consider Santa's reputation. Scotty Claus likes a cookie now and then too I've heard, but since he'd rather not go the "belly like a bowlful of jelly" route, he tries to resist.

Scotty Claus thinks C should be for Conservation, but I thought that was just too big a word for a small elf like me. I decided to look it up though, and as it turns out, it is a pretty good word to know. On dictionary.reference.com it says that conservation is

"the act of conserving;  prevention of injury, decay, waste,or loss; preservation".

The Living Christmas Company is all about that idea. Our trees are not injured by cutting, they are not wasted, because after Christmas we pick them up again and take care of them, and they are not lost, because even when they get too old or too big to be Christmas trees any more we let them retire. They are planted somewhere where they will help improve the environment, or beautify an area.

Finally, last but hopefully not least, C is for Care'n Presents (that's me!) Merry July!

Friday, July 27, 2012

B is for...

"Believe in what you feel inside, 
And give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need,
If you just believe."

That comes from one of my favorite Christmas songs, coincidentally called "Believe" by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri (performed by Josh Groban).  It's all about believing the way you did when you were a child, and at Christmas time, we're kind of allowed to tap into our inner child so... 

B is for BELIEVE!

There are so many great things to believe in. You can believe in yourself, or in someone you love or respect. You can also believe that an idea can change the world!  Christmas seems to get crazier and crazier every year. It's so easy to get stressed out, and really, doesn't that go against all that Christmas is supposed to mean? Instead of venting on the poor sales clerk or helpful elf (ie: yours truly), try a little patience. It might make their day, and wouldn't that make you feel good too? I believe that kindness goes a lot further than well...grumpiness.

B is also for Blue Cedar, another one of the trees available to rent or adopt through The Living Christmas Company. No, we don't have 26 different trees, it's just the some of the ones we have just happen to be at the beginning of the alphabet. This tree's actual name is Cedrus Deodara which means (you're gonna' love this) "wood of the gods". This tree is even is included in legends and is even worshiped in the Hindu culture. In Pakistan it is the National Tree. On top of all this it smells really good, and bugs don't like it much. What more could you ask for in a tree?  

Back to "believing," Scotty Claus believes that we can all help change the world, one tree at at time. If you can't do that, you can start by recycling some of your stuff, or even just picking up your trash. Changing the world sometimes is a matter of changing the way we think. So think about it. Believe it can happen. 

Care'n Presents

Photo: cinemalicious.com
Some information found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedrus_deodara

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A is for...

Well, since there are SO many great things about Christmas, I thought maybe I'd go alphabetically, and create the Living Christmas ABC's: unabridged, unofficial, and hopefully a little unusual. Being an elf, I figured the best way to start the ABC's is well...with E for Elf. Okay, just kidding. Really, we should start with S for Scotty Claus. Oh, all right, we'll do it the "normal" way, and start with A.

A is for "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth." I know you know that song. We all sang it at some point. (Now it's going to be stuck in your head all day, right? Don't you just love me?)

Also, A is for Aleppo Pine, which frankly, I'd never even heard of until I started working for Scotty Claus. It's one of the types of trees available to rent from The Living Christmas Company.  I looked it up, and it's a really pretty tree.  It's so pretty that the artist Paul Cezanne painted a picture called "The Big Trees" because he was inspired by one growing in his garden!  These trees are native to the Mediterranean region, but they grow well in Southern California too. There's even a Greek wine that's made from the resin of the Aleppo Pine called Retsina.  Not that we elves ever drink wine or anything...well, not when we're working anyway.

Come back again later for...well the rest of the alphabet. I guess I'll do B next. Why not, right?


Care'n Presents

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

What's that you say? Christmas in July? Please! But let's face it people, it comes faster and faster every year! Any minute there will be decorations in the malls, street banners, tree lots. That, however, is not what I'm here to talk about. 

Allow me to introduce myself: I am Care'n Presents. Think of me as "care and presents" or "a caring presence", whichever floats your boat. Put simply: I'm an elf. I work for Scotty Claus and The Living Christmas Company. Scotty is sort of Santa's younger brother from another mother, only sometimes I think that the Claus's may not entirely want to admit it. Scotty changes his mustache and/or facial hair I think, every season. His "Santa" hat is about five feet long, and well, he's a little goofy. On the other hand, his heart is in the right place. He likes to concentrate on some of the things Santa doesn't always focus on, primarily: the trees. It's not Santa's fault, by any means. I have a cousin who works at the North Pole and she says it's a mad house! All those toys, and now especially, since the kids these days want electronics. There's a lot of stuff to do, and not a lot of time to even think about the trees. 

This brings us back to Scotty.  He was helping deliver trees one year, and that made him so happy...until the weeks after Christmas. He saw these same trees, just dumped on the curb. What for years was a beautiful living thing, and for a few weeks was a sparkling symbol of love and family, was now just a lump of dry wood and needles to be cast aside. That, made Scotty Claus very sad. Oh sure, once in a while a tree got composted, but for the most part they were thrown in a dumpster and left at the landfill. So Scotty created The Living Christmas Tree Company, where you don't buy a tree and throw it out, you rent a living tree, you water it, it stays alive and happy in your home, and then Scotty sends out his elves and reindeer, to collect it back again. Then, and throughout the year, the trees are given a little tender loving care (TLC - hey, just like The Living Christmas) and if you want you can even rent that same tree the next year. I've heard, that the trees like it better too. Who can blame them?

Okay, I know you're thinking "here comes the sales pitch" but alas. I'm an elf, not a sales person. Obviously, I think it's a great idea, but my point is to give you some things to think about: some things that are not about what you should buy Uncle Dave, or your mother-in-law. I want you to think about what you can do to keep Christmas in your heart...all the time. I want you to think about ways to make the trees happy, and the world maybe a little bit better place. Mostly, I just want to give you some things to think about that will make you smile. The holidays can be crazy and stressful. As an elf, don't I know it? So take a moment once in a while, take a deep breath, visit me, and remember what it's about.

 My present is Care.