We always want the scent and thrill of having a real, fresh Christmas tree but it is still green and lovely when January rolls around and it seems such a shame to just discard the thing that gave us such joy a week earlier! What to do?
A few years ago, we started a tradition of putting our tree outside on our deck right up next to the glass door with a bird feeder hanging on it, or with balls of bird seed. We leave the lights only on, and leave it right in its stand. The lights look cheery out in the snow at night. And during the day, we watch the birds gather in the tree and it is so fun to see them hop from limb to limb. Sometimes there are 6 or more birds in the tree at the same time! They find shelter from the snow storm under its boughs and have a party feasting on bird seed when the weather is fine. It is very entertaining watching them from just a few feet away indoors while we are eating meals. That Christmas tree is still bringing us (and a bunch of birdies) lots of joy!
Bird Seed Balls
Cut a length of yarn, fold back on itself and put a big slip knot in the bottom. Mix 2 cups of bird seed with 1/2 cup of lard or shortening. Gathering it like a little snowball, form a ball around the knot of the yarn. Gently hang or rest the balls on the limbs of the tree. The cold weather outdoors will firm them up and make them less fragile. These are a feast for hungry birds that need the fat for winter survival!