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A Christmas of Need

When Christmas comes around it isn't always a time of joy. For some people, it's a time of need of food.

You can help this problem. All you have to do is bring a can of food to the needy.

This problem is starvation. This problem has spread all over Africa. The reason for this is because of a dry period. It is bringing illness, hunger and death to millions.

Over 150,000 people have fled their villages to look for food. The reason for this is because there is no food in the villages.

This problem isn't only in Africa, it's all over the world. Some people care about it.

The people that don't care about it look at it this way, what if you were one of them?

Keith Babbitt
Grade 5
Elizabeth Cady Stanton School
Seneca Falls

From "A Kids' Eye View Of Christmas", Syracuse Post-Standard, Friday, Dec. 14 1984


How America Celebrated Christmas in the 1980s

Santa Sleigh with Reindeer"My sister wants a Cabbage Patch kid for Christmas." Eric, 1984

Follow these Hints for Tree Success

Your gift list is complete right down to the last sprig of mistletoe. Christmas lights and ornaments have been retrieved from the attic, waiting to be hung on that true holiday symbol, the Christmas tree. But before you purchase your tree, consider these helpful hints from Dr. Francis Gouin, an extension specialist and horticulture professor at the University of Maryland at College Park.  

If you're like most Marylanders, 64 percent in fact, you'll probably pick up a Scotch pine as your yuletide symbol. These trees are generally seven, to eight feet tall, Dr. Gouin said. About 10 percent of Marylanders choose a white pine, with the remainder selecting Douglas or Fraser firs, Colorado blue spruce or other varieties.

You can expect to spend anywhere from $15-$35 for your tree, with a possible savings if you go to one of Maryland's "choose and cut" Christmas tree farms. For more information on these farms, consult the Maryland Department of Agriculture's "Maryland Choose And Cut Christmas Tree Directory".

If you're going to buy a pre-cut tree, go early in the season and look for the "Maryland Grown Christmas Tree, Green, Fresh, Fragrant" sign and for the "Maryland with Pride" logo. This indicates freshness "Some of these trees are cut before November" Mr. Gouin said. Go to a Christmas tree lot during the day, when there is ample light to properly inspect the trees. Then follow these simple guidelines:

  • Check the tree's color: a grey-green or yellow shade indicates a dry tree.
  • Bend and pull the pine needles: If they snap or pull off easily, the tree is sure to drop its needles once it hits your home's warm interior.
  • Bang the base of your prospective purchase on concrete: If the exterior new growth needles plummet, the tree is a potential tinderbox.
  • Once the tree is selected. Dr. Gouin recommends cutting two inches off the bottom of the tree's trunk (just one inch if you cut your own tree) and then immediately plunging the cut end into 80 to 100 degree water. "This is important: a tree won't absorb cold water,"
  • If you're not taking the tree inside immediately, store it on the north side of your house (so it gets shade) and completely replace the warm water periodically.
  • When you're ready to bring it inside, cut another one-half inch off the trunk, and repeat the warm water treatment. Place the tree away from any heat source such as radiators.
  • Use a plain, galvanized tree stand. Galvanized stands release zinc, a bacterial inhibitor. If you don't have a galvanized stand, add a tablespoon of bacterial killing bleach to each gallon of warm water. If you don't control bacterial growth, it can clog a tree's pores, thus keeping the tree from absorbing water, Dr. Gouin said. Be sure to avoid any gimmicks - such as adding sugar, molasses, honey, aspirin or pennies to the water - that do nothing to extend a tree's indoor life. In fact, the sugars will encourage bacterial and fungal growth, producing an unpleasant odor.

Properly watered, there is no reason a tree won't keep indoors for three weeks, Dr. Gouin said. When the time comes for disposal, think about using the limbs as winter cover for your outdoor plants. You can burn stumps in the fireplace, or even stand the tree up in your backyard and string it with popcorn: "The birds will have a field day," Dr. Gouin noted.

Frederick Post, Frederick, Md., Thursday, December 7, 1989

Record Season

It looks like another record season for Christmas tree farmers, despite the preference of many Americans for artificial trees that can be boxed and stored until next year. A record 34.3 million Christmas trees were sold in 1988, and a U.S. Department of Agriculture report says the market is expected to exceed 35 million this year.  The Frederick Post, Frederick, MD., Thursday, December 7, 1989

      Purple Flower



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