The Last Thing You Should Do with Your Christmas Tree Before You Toss It

updated Dec 28, 2020
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Christmas tree in living room
Credit: Sarah Crowley

We’ve all had to get creative lately, seeking joy in the most humble of places. With a 2020 holiday season full of missed traditions, the ones we were able to keep took on even more meaning. For my family, we put some extra emphasis on our Christmas tree. It went up earlier than usual, we used every ornament we have, I spent a little extra time gawking at it, and we’re going to keep it up a little longer than usual. I want this tree to serve us well and get all the joy out of it that we possibly can. So I’m also going to take a few springs off it before I say goodbye to it. And you should too.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Make a Simmer Pot with Christmas Tree Trimmings

Before you say goodbye to your tree, take off a few last sprigs. And use them to make a stovetop simmer pot! This will help you usher out the season while eking out every bit of festivity. Whether you’re decluttering your house for a fresh start or still cozied up in jammies watching movies on the couch every chance you get, suffusing your home with a lovely scent wraps everyone up in comfort and joy. 

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Fill a small pot so that’s it about half full with water.
  2. Add a few sprigs from your Christmas tree. 
  3. Toss in a few more scented items — such as cinnamon sticks, cranberries, bits of an orange garland or slices of fresh orange or lemon, a few drops of essential oils, cloves, apple peels, etc. You really can’t go wrong here.
  4. Turn on the burner and bring the water to a gentle simmer. 
  5. Be sure to check your pot periodically and add more water if the level gets low.  

Is your Christmas tree still up? When does it come down? Tell us in the comments below.