Everyone knows that trees are good for the environment because they consume carbon dioxide. This is not news. But researchers in Sweden (what is it with all these German and Swedish scientists who are obsessed with Christmas tree research?) have recently discovered that the evergreen trees most often marketed as Christmas trees (spruces, pines, firs) not only cleanse the air of carbon dioxide, but ingest something even more harmful — methane. Wow, some good news about the environment? And it involves Christmas trees? Maybe there really IS a Santa Claus!

Methane is about 25 times more harmful than carbon monoxide, and in a rare bit of positive news for the planet, methane hotspots have been decreasing in recent years. Scientists were fairly sure this was not due to people burning less fossil fuel, because ha ha ha, and research revealed that trees might get the credit. Further study showed that evergreens are especially adept consumers of methane.

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That said, they are especially good at it when they are alive. In fact, they are only good at it when they are alive. So we should grow trees that could be Christmas trees but then not cut them down? In other words, the gist of this article is now we have to open presents outside, or suffer the effects of methane gas. There it is. That’s your choice.