Happy holidays, everybody who reads my article! And while I’m at it, merry Christmas and happy birthday, you old Sandbox Press! Yes, Sandbox Press is one this month. Congrats to all the contributors! If you’ve missed any issues of Sandbox Press they can all be viewed online at www.Sandbox-Press.net.

For my regular readers I have to say - E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles! The birds have just blown out the Redskins and are gearing up to play the G-men on Sunday night for first place in the NFC East. This should be a great match-up. Hopefully, they can keep riding the Mike Vick Experience to the playoffs and who knows? I do know enough, being a long-time Philly sports fan, that you should try not to mention winning the big one. I wish all the other fans could support my “low expectations” attempt at reverse psychology. Example: “Yeah, Vick’s an O.K. quarterback, we‘ll see. Birds could play better defense though!” What’s really important is that we not conduct ourselves as Cowboys fans and talk too much trash (remember how they were going to win the Super Bowl this year? Shhh, don’t tell them). If it is necessary to pump up our team I suggest we do it only in small groups, say, in the vestibule at church on Sunday, just before we pray for a positive outcome.

Now, this month I want everyone to take a break from yard work. Put up some Christmas lights, drink some eggnog, watch It’s A Wonderful Life, drink some more eggnog, play with the kids, play with the dog(s), go carolling, watch a parade, cut out the coupons in Sandbox Press and do some shopping. Get plenty of rest ‘cause here comes the family! Whoo! Hoo! My father-in-law always says at this time of year, “You can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your family.” Thanks, Frank, I couldn’t agree more. Oh, and for the record, Uncle Harry, we really didn’t need the demonstration. Could someone please pass the pizzelles? Usually, it’s just about that time during the holiday festivities that I head outside and check out the…

Plant of the month for December, which appropriately enough is the Christmas fern! You didn’t think ferns were native to Delaware, did you? Christmas fern, A.K.A. polystichum acrostichoides, is an evergreen fern that grows to about 1’ in height. Christmas fern is surprisingly tough and low maintenance; it prefers full shade, but can tolerate a few hours of filtered sun a day. Christmas fern isn’t going to dazzle anyone with some outrageous blooms that glow in the dark or smell like a fine perfume. It’s just a tough old evergreen understory plant that will give you something simple to look at during your holiday sanity break. Merry Christmas, you old fan of Sandbox Press!

If you have any questions and/or comments about gardening, lawn care, or holiday insanity, you can reach me at KucharikLandscape@gmail.com. I’ll get back to you right away. Now get outside and make the world more beautiful. •

Tom Kucharik is a Delaware Certified Nursery Professional, Turfgrass Specialist, and the owner and operator of Kucharik Landscape Company. You can see his work at LandscapeDelaware.com.

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