I have always liked seasons, the sea of orange, yellow, brown and red leaves that paint a Canadian forest in autumn and the peaceful snowfalls creating a white blanket everywhere I look during the Canadian Christmas season.
And so it is with great sadness that the Globetrotter announces that we will be spending this Christmas in Madagascar. The not-so-Christmas-y atmosphere will be all the less so because I am not even sure that we will be Getting A Tree. Getting A Tree creates big ethical problems here. You see, in Canada, the United States and even Europe, there are farms where trees are grown for the very purpose of serving as a Christmas tree one day. You therefore don't have to worry about deforestation when you Get A Tree. Better yet, you can buy a tree still planted in a pot and plant it in your backyard after Christmas.
Here in Madagascar, you have two options:
1) Buy a Christmas tree that has been cut down in a forest, thereby contributing to the massive deforestation efforts already at work in this country, or
2) Buy a Chinese-manufactured artificial tree, made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is not biodegradeable, pollutes and and is replete with phthalates, dioxin, ethyl chloride, etc. etc. You get the picture. What's more, apparently, many artificial trees contain lead. Eek.
Last week, I mentioned that we needed to think about Getting A Tree, and the Bambina said, "We don't need a tree. We can put the presents somewhere else."
That's my girl.
Well, in the end we did end up Getting A Tree - a special Madagascar tree. Here it is.
The same trees are planted just out side the luxurious Colbert Hotel in downtown Antananarivo. It's not a pine tree but I like it because it's simple, it's local and we will be able to plant it in our yard after Christmas.