With the sparkle of the holiday season now fading, the hustle and bustle of the most wonderful time of the year has given birth to the often dreaded post-celebration clean up.  Homeowners, with their bellies still plump from the seasonal feasts and a few extra shots of holiday cheer, are lining the curbs with trash bags stuffed with the remains of Christmas past.

The tinsled tanenbaum, which days earlier served as the centerpiece of joyous jubilee, is shedding its needles and leaving a prickly presence on the living room floor. The piney balm that once filled the air has faded to a mere memory, as stale as the cookie crumbs Santa left behind.

Still filled with the spirit of the season, the city of Stephenville and a local Boy Scout troop have once again joined forces to offer area residents an alternative for loading their expired evergreens. The program is not restricted to city residents, it is open to everyone who has a tree to dump.

Instead of tossing the trees to the curb alongside the torn boxes and bows, the Stephenville Parks and Recreation Department is urging citizens to bring their faded firs to Optimist Jaycee Park from 10 a.m.-1 p.m Saturday, Jan. 2.

"After Christmas we would notice the trees lying on the curb, with the rest of your Christmas garbage," said recreation superintendent Brenda Haggard. "We wanted to offer a better alternative, and the Boys Scout troop No. 68 has agreed to help."

Participation requires little effort. Haggard said citizens simply load their trees into the trucks or trunks and the scouts will unload them at the park.

As an added bonus, the city will give the first 200 people who recycle their trees a free seedling plant.

"We wanted to add an incentive to recycle your Christmas tree," Haggard said.

Haggard also explained the environmental effort is about sparing the landfill of the bulky tree remains and also said the trees are put to good use. In previous years, the trees have been reduced to mulch and one year they were used to create fish habitats that were anchored and dropped to the bottom of a local lake. 

For more information, call 918-1291.