December 3, 2009

Dilemma



... or actually two dilemmas:

1. Christmas tree or not?
They started showing up about a week ago. Christmas trees - in all sizes. And the girls have been asking when we'll be getting ours. I told them it's too early still and that we should wait for at least another week. But should we really buy one, I wonder. Every year I have mixed feelings about getting a Christmas tree. I find it somewhat cruel, killing a tree just so we could decorate it and enjoy it for a mere two or three weeks at most, after which it gets dumped. I know they're just grown for that, just like I know they get recycled to some extent, but still... However, I also find it cruel towards my girls not to have one. They so much enjoy having a tree in the house, and so do I actually. We had a fake one before, but that's not any better for the environment, if not worse. I've seen alternative trees, wooden frames, or trees made out of twigs. But no way you can hang balls and ornaments from those - and we have plenty. So, what should we do? Most likely we'll get one, but I'll feel sad for that poor tree again...

2. Flu vaccine or not?
The French government started a mass vaccination campaign to fight off the H1N1 flu pandemic. And again we have no clue as to what would be the best, getting the shot or not. Everyone is talking about it, at school, at the gym, in the elevator, at the store, on the metro... And no one seems to know the answer. I think we should wait another week and see... Oh, I'm so good at procrastinating...

And that's exactly what I did with the advent calendar too.
I didn't want to get a store bought one. I had plenty of ideas for making one. But, as I said, I'm a bad planner and so on Tuesday night we still didn't have any and so we whipped this one together. We joined efforts: I cut the paper, the girls stamped every sheet, I folded them and glued them to pockets of different sizes and shapes, they distributed the chocolate coins equally (important!), put them in the pockets. I finally stapled them randomly to some twine, hung both calendars up near the dinner table and done... Each girl now has a nice and cute, very personal advent calendar.
And after dinner the girls both climb onto their chair to find the corresponding date...

Note: I can't believe how crazy things have gone in the post below... Thanks, everyone for participating and for your nice comments! If you'd like to make a bunny of your own, I found the pattern in a Debbie Bliss book, I believe it was (Toy Knits: more than 30 irresistible and easy-to-knit patterns). I no longer have the book, unfortunately. I got rid of it at our moving sale, which I now regret...

19 comments:

Miss Butterfly said...

Concerning the x-mas tree..why don't you get a fake one ???Doesn't smells as good...but no needles everywhere and u can use it for years to come (if u invest in a good quality one they looks as good as real one ...)

It was a huge dilema for me too concerning the vaccine but finally I'm going to have it done for my boy...The pedietrician saw kids in hospital with completelly ruined lungs and was horrified ...and that scarred me too...

Kelly O. said...

get the tree, get the shot and don't worry about the rest ;)

RosaMaría said...

beautiful calendar, that was a brillian idea! about the tree ... we don't have to much festive here and don't put Christmas tree or some stuff (only a small wreath that I made a couple of years ago) ... but I think putting the tree is something that excites a lot of children ... but as you say it is cruel ...
Here also began with the vaccines and many people are running to be applied ... I definitely will not do, during those months I was very suspicious at this point, here was crazy and we had weeks in which all the people you saw on the street wearing masks and you can see the fear in they're eyes... I work in a public building and still am not convinced vaccinations ...
besos!!

virginia said...

first, here's a link to another debbie bliss knitter, and she has links to several books, too.

that little bag is so very cute, as well as your advent calendar. if we had a different world economy, you would be the next "it" designer!

http://knittedtoys.blogspot.com/

the tree...just get one. i'm allergic to pine trees (took me several years to figure that out, and a skin test proved it), and now i use a wire one. flowers are grown to be harvested and displayed, so cutting a tree is okay.

h1n1...that is a dilemma. i think i have rheum. arthritis as a result of a flu strain i contracted as a child. i ended up with strep throat, pneumonia and a kidney infection. i was eleven...

my sister, an ER RN, said she has never seen so many healthy young people (under 35) so sick with opportunistic infections (post-h1n1). the ER where she works set up a temporary isolation ward because they had so many cases. her own daughter(21) contracted it. the flu lasted a week, the daughter returned to work, but ended up back in bed with two separate respiratory infections: first sinusitis, and then pneumonia.

tough choice.

Raheli said...

Hi -- I'm not Christian, but I wanted to offer this suggestion: Why not get a live tree in a pot, and then you can plant it afterwards. If you have any land to plant it, then you will be able to watch it grow for years, or you could offer it to someone else who might want it.
Otherwise, if you get tree, maybe you could have it chopped up & use the mulch for your garden. That way you can see the tree was put to good use.

katt said...

I second the posted recommending a potted tree. Who says it must be a pine? Any evergreen will do and the space in which it gets planted can only be improved by the addition of a much loved tree.
I too am conflicted about the H1N1 vaccine. We have been told that it is a quickly mutating virus and that having H1N1 does not prevent you from getting it again in the future (unlike many childhood diseases, like chicken pox). If this is true, then I question the effectiveness of the vaccine. I am also confused that when first introduced to the public here in the US, it was supposed to be a series of three shots over a few weeks. Now it is a single dose? I find it all quite confusing!

nicole/brussel said...

eerst en vooral, koop je een goede namaak kerstboom, er bestaan tegenwoordig zéér mooie!geen gesleur om er één te halen en nadien kwijt te raken! om dan maar te zwijgen over de naalden die je zelfs met pasen nog terug vindt, bij manier van spreken!
wat de vaccinatie betreft, wel mijn dokter heeft me eerst die gegeven toen ik ging, omdat die de gevaarlijkste is, volgens hem! twee weken later heb ik dan de gewone gekregen! heb niets van nevenverschijnsel gehad, juist een beetje een stijve arm, 't gevoel van een dikke ecchymose!
je ideetje van "adventkalender" vind ik een goed gevonden alternatief!

Andrea, the collector said...

There are things we grow and use just temporarily and I'm ok with this being one of them. But I hear you. It doesn't seem cruel exactly to me, but sometimes it feels wasteful. Oh, I'm just too sentimental about the tree to not.

Also, it helps that here, we buy our tree from the same farmers who come down from Maine every year. I feel I'm supporting a family business. I'm guessing in Paris, a tree to plant or cut up and mulch for your garden isn't an option, but here at least the city recycles them.

Finally, is this silly? Sometimes I think about the stories of Native American's taking a moment of reverent respect after killing an animal for food. All of survival involves sacrifice. While a Christmas tree hasn't been taken to feed my family (a necessity), I recognize that this tree has been cut for my pleasure. I try to have a reverence for it in my home, a gratitude for its beauty and the natural world, a recognition of what it symbolizes for me. I just adore it and am grateful for it while it is up. How blessed I am to have a bit of this beauty in my home!!!

Andrea, the collector said...

p.s. I love your advent calendar! Brilliant!

p.p.s. Your bag and bunny are adorable too! I may have to make one of those bunnies some day.

Pop Wahm Buzz said...

I used to feel exactly the same about real Christmas trees until we had a news segment air that focused on an environmentalist talking about how good it is to buy real trees. The idea was that there are many acres of land dedicated to growing Christmas trees and if people stopped buying real trees, this land would probably be developed into condos, etc, so basically, you are making a sound environmental choice in buying a real tree. That said, she was specific in mentioning that the tree should not go to the dump but should be chipped, etc.

Jessica Jo said...

My mom likes to get potted trees and each year and they she plants them in her yard. And my sister one year just got a small rosemary tree and then kept it in the house all year for fresh rosemary! What's better than that? I love rosemary!

Deb said...

I love a real tree, so I'm all for that....but then, I have friends who own a Christmas tree farm! We didn't get the flu shot, and don't plan to. I'm a strong believer in eating healthy and washing our hands alot....I'm uneasy about the possible bad effects of so many immunizations and drugs on our bodies. Then again, I have a very healthy, active family; I might think differently if we had some chronic illnesses.

Jessica Jo said...

http://www.pfadvice.com/2006/12/21/top-10-do-it-yourself-christmas-tree-photos/

Make your own tree!

Jacqui said...

My mum used to do what she called a Charlie Brown Christmas tree when we kids had left home and couldn't protest about it. It was just a dead branch from something like an apple tree, so it was sturdy enough to hang ornaments from without fear. I suppose it might be hard to come by such a thing in the middle of Paris though!

New Scientist ran an article a few weeks ago on swine flu myths, might be worth checking it out. http://www.newscientist.com/special/swine-flu-myths-that-could-endanger-your-life Vaccination is such a fraught subject though, it's definitely an area where you have to make your own mind up as to what suits you! The vaccine wasn't available when we went through 'flu season here in NZ so it wasn't an option for us. I'm also not sure what I would have done as I don't get the regular 'flu shots either. It only hits a small percentage hard enough to be dangerous, but if you don't have other medical factors it's impossible to know if you'll be one or not.

karen said...

My mom bought a little pine tree in pot when we were young. She kept repotting it for the holidays until it was over five feet tall and too heavy to haul in from the garden. Then, she bought a new little pine tree in a pot. In my home, we buy fresh trees. A lady who lives in a nearby town has llamas who like eating Christmas trees, so our tree can become a llama treat! Bes wishes. Whatever you choose to do, it will be magical, Pascale!

Jodi Renshaw said...

If you read the ingredients list of the H1N1 vaccine, I dont believe you would want to put it in your body. Some countries are nto allowing their soldiers to get it for fear of major contamination (Germany & others).

cindy said...

tree
i used to feel that way about the tree in rockefeller center, until i learned that they use the wood to build homes for habit for humanity. maybe there's a place to recycle a fresh tree you might buy for christmas?
flu shot
we got the regular flu shot, but haven't been able to get the swine flu version. we're not trying that hard to find it though. our doctor said it was ok, he got one from his doctor friend - nice, but i'm a bit wary.
enjoy your weekend!

cindy said...

ooops...forgot to say that i love your advent calender. sometimes the best things are improvised.

lilasvb said...

nice to stop on your blog

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