In New York, the ceremonial end to the Christmas season is the annual "Chucking O' The Tree," a tradition that dates perhaps to the city's founding by the Dutch in the early 17th century. You know that Christmas is over when the first fir tree -- sold just weeks ago at one of the thousands of stand that pop out on the sidewalks faster than rats on garbage day -- hits the sidewalk.
WIthin hours, the sidewalks are littered with hundreds of live, semi-live or brown trees. Some still have tinsel attached. A few have the cheap plastic tree stand still attached and occasionally they even have ornaments still on them.
Usually by the second week in January, the sanitation department will roll their recycle trucks and cart the trees off for chipping. Last year, a pair of two-foot snowstorms kept the trees on the sidewalks until the end of February.
Next year I'm thinking of celebrating Christmas under the Greek Orthodox calendar -- on January 6. That way, I'll have plenty of free trees to choose from.