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Women in Ag: The Christmas Tree That Keeps Giving

Every year we have a live Christmas tree.  When it’s time to take it down, we take the tree to the woods and let it decompose.  Other people I know have put them in ponds to create fish habitat.  When I used to live in town, the maintenance department would come pick up trees and turn them into mulch.
One thing I’ve never thought about doing was milling the wood and using it to build a home.  At least, I’d never considered that an option until The Christmas Gift arrived in my mailbox. 
This book is the December Book of the Month for North Carolina Ag in the Classroom.  Each book has been checked for agriculture accuracy.
I wanted to build our library of agriculture books for my kids, so earlier this year I signed up.  For $5 a month, the monthly selection arrives at my door complete with activities, resources, and links to lesson plans.
“The Christmas Gift” tells the story of a young boy and his father selling Christmas trees in New York.  At the end of the day they give a tree to workers building Rockefeller Center, which was built during the Depression.  The boy’s wish was granted as a result of that gift and years later he repays the generosity. 
According to the book, the first Rockefeller tree was put up by construction workers as a show of appreciation for having work during the Great Depression.  It was 20 feet tall and decorated with hand-made ornaments. 
Today’s trees measure between 70 and 100 feet in height and can be 40 feet wide.  Since 2007 the company who owns Rockefeller Center has donated the wood from these trees to Habitat for Humanity to use in building homes.
I have volunteered for Habitat in the past so I’ve seen firsthand the pride of a family working with volunteers to build their first home.
Something about using the wood from the Rockefeller Christmas tree to benefit needy families just seems to capture the spirit of Christmas.    
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