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    World Focus: This Christmas, Say No to Fir
    Sunday, December 03 @ 16:46:54 UTC
    ChristmasBy Mickey Z, mickeyz.net

    On my way to the elevated subway station today, I caught sight of my neighborhood's most clearcut (pun very much intended) sign that Santa season is fully upon us: Christmas tree lots. I detect the familiar faces of the folks—positioned, as always, in front of Rite Aid—hawking pines and firs long since separated from their roots. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, approximately 30-35 million "real" Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. every year and roughly 100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry.

    "As soon as the turkey's in the Tupperware, thoughts turn to getting ready for Christmas," begins one recent newspaper story. "And what says Christmas more than the tree?" Yep, as Thanksgiving is to the turkeys, Christmas is to evergreen. It almost seems to go unnoticed that the enduring symbols of winter's two most celebrated holidays are the annual targets of human killing sprees. You can sing "O Christmas Tree" until you go hoarse, but that tree you just bought is dying before your eyes.

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