Spruce trees are one of those goods that lose their value in an instant. On the morning of 31st December, people sell them as Christmas trees. At the evening of the same day, unsold spruce trees litter the dumpsters. In Latvia people start selling Christmas trees in mid December, and 31st December is the last date on which trees are still available for sale. Then, at the evening of 31st December, all the unsold trees become garbage and are thrown out.
I do not celebrate Christmas, at least not in the traditional way, but I do have some Christmas traditions. At the evening of 31st December, I always go dumpster diving for a spruce tree. Often Christmas tree sellers simply leave all their unsold trees near some dumpster. This is where I get my New Year spruce tree every year. For free, obviously.
Since I do not celebrate Christmas, I don’t care about having a Christmas tree at home on some specific day. But I do enjoy having a spruce tree at home during winter. I wouldn’t want to chop down a tree for myself, but since the unsold trees are considered garbage anyway, I can pick them up. I do not decorate my spruce trees, I just keep them bare in my bedroom during the first half of January. I think that spruce trees look great on their own. Hanging some pieces of plastic on them wouldn’t make them prettier in my eyes.
More importantly, I absolutely adore the smell of spruce needles. It’s one of my favorite scents. And it’s my all time favorite scent for cosmetics (some men’s shampoos and soap come scented like spruce trees). I don’t care about popular scents like rose or lavender, but spruce needles, hell yeah. I love this scent.
My other favorite scent is that of linden tree flowers (Tilia platyphyllos). I also like Philadelphus coronaries (sweet mock-orange, English dogwood), which is a widely cultivated ornamental shrub with beautiful and fragrant flowers. My favorite nice smelling spring flowers are Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley), and Prunus padus (bird cherry, hackberry, hagberry, or Mayday tree).
Yesterday evening, I left my home at 7:30 p.m. I got back home three hours later. That was one hell of a walk. The weather was windy, and I even got some ice pellets on my head. But at least I got my tree.
Previous years, I could easily find some abandoned spruce trees next to my home. Christmas tree sellers simply discarded unsold trees and left them next to some dumpster. Yesterday, I checked all the spots where Christmas trees are sold in the vicinity of my home. Every one of them was empty and cleaned up. I assume that some city officials (or maybe trash collectors) had complained about discarded trees, which is why Christmas tree sellers started cleaning up after themselves. Why else would they do that? I mean, they used to just abandon trees in previous years. After a lot of walking, I had already lost all hopes and started getting really disappointed. Until I finally found a few abandoned trees. When I finally spotted them, I was so immensely happy. I was so relieved that my long walk hadn’t been in vain that I got greedy and grabbed two trees at once.
This tree now stands in my bedroom. The other tree that I obtained is almost as large and now stays in my mother’s room. Getting both spruce trees home was a bit challenging, because the strong wind made it hard to carry bulky objects, and I had a tree in each hand. Such occasions make me envious of those men who are naturally big and physically strong. Still, I am too lazy to get serious about regular training and weight lifting.
Anyway, at least at the end the mission was a success, and I got my New Year’s spruce tree. This year I still succeeded in finding an abandoned spruce tree, but I don’t like how Christmas tree sellers have started to clean up after themselves. Dumpster diving gets impossible once people stop abandoning stuff in places where I can easily take it.
In comparison, here is a photo I took back in January 2014.
That was the most impressive spruce tree I have ever managed to find in a dumpster. By the way, in my home the ceilings are 3 meters high. That tree was huge. It’s sad that my days of being able to pick up impressive spruce trees for free could be ending.