A Gift That Grows:
Planting a Tree for Baby
by Lisa A. Koosis
The birth of a baby is a momentous occasion, surrounded with much celebration. There are baby showers to attend, Christenings, naming ceremonies and the like, and more often than not, each requires the giving of a gift.
Nobody will dispute that playpens and strollers, beautiful satin-trimmed blankets and soft, plush teddy bears make wonderful gifts. These are classic, timeless presents to welcome a newborn into the world.
But there's another gift that baby-gift givers might never have considered. Why not plant a tree in honor of a birth?
The idea of planting a tree in honor of a special occasion is not a new one. People have been planting trees in honor of births, deaths, weddings, housewarmings, and other occasions for many years. Still, the concept never seems to have caught on as perhaps it should have.
Planting a tree in celebration of a birth is perhaps the most poignant of occasions because this is a gift that will grow alongside the child, year by year growing, maturing, flourishing.
There are several different ways to approach the gift of a newly planted tree.
One way is simply to pay a visit to your local nursery or garden center. Most have a great selection of saplings in a multitude of varieties to choose from. Beautiful choices are red maples, weeping willows or weeping cherries, and other ornamental varieties. These can be brought right home with you and planted.
But perhaps you aren't prepared -- or you know the recipients won't be prepared -- to care for a tree. Another great idea is to visit the website of organizations such as Trees for Life. For a donation, these trees are planted in honor of a special someone, but not in your neighborhood. They're fruit trees which are planted, rather, in developing countries, to help sustain those in need. Certificates honoring the recipient -- in this case the child -- are sent to the family. Something like this can be framed and hung in a child's room as a wonderful reminder of helping others.
Another wonderful organization is The National Arbor Day Foundation. For a donation, they'll plant a tree in a National forest devastated by disaster such as fires. What's nice about this choice is that, although the child may never see this tree, it is a gift that he or she will ultimately benefit from because each tree planted is helping to make the environment cleaner and healthier for future generations.
No matter how you approach it, choosing to plant a tree to welcome a child to the world is a wonderful, unique gift idea. This is a gift that will benefit not only the baby, but the world as a whole.