The After Christmas Tree


Written by Linda Wagner Tyler, Illustrated by Susan Davis

Viking Penguin, 1990

It was New Year’s Day.  It was time to take down the Christmas tree.

What’s up with this tree?  It gets a second life after Christmas

Isn’t it always a little bit sad when you have to take down the Christmas tree?  The family in this book decides to do something different, so they invite everyone to an After Christmas Party.  The party starts at the pond, where everyone goes ice skating.  Everyone is given a bag for the walk back to the house and told to collect pine cones on the way.  When they’re home, everyone pitches in, stringing popcorn and berries and rolling peanut butter-covered pine cones in birdseed.   The former Christmas tree, stripped of its lights and decorations, is moved outside, where it’s trimmed with the edible decorations and finished off with a collection of nuts thrown on the ground underneath.  Then everyone goes inside for hot chocolate, while they watch the birds and squirrels enjoying their Christmas buffet.

I really want to do this with our tree.

I really want to do this with our tree.

Doesn’t this sound awesome?  I love the idea of re-purposing your tree and to take that idea further by making a party (a holiday party, no less) out of it is brilliant.  Author Linda Wagner Tyler keeps the story short and simple, so that even very young readers can enjoy it and illustrator Susan Davis fills the pictures with happy children and animals, set in exciting winter scenes or cozy home settings.  The story starts with the narrator reminiscing about the Christmas that has just gone by, including a Christmas pageant, a caroling party and homemade cards and presents.  It perfectly sets the stage for this after-Christmas tree and the fun everyone has in doing a kind deed for their local wildlife.

And what did we learn?  What I take away from this book is that just because you’re finished with something, that doesn’t mean it can’t still be useful to someone else.



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