By Phran Novelli,

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a sure sign that the holidays are ending when you see the sad sight of Christmas trees at the curb. It’s not just the opposite of merry, it’s also sort of silly. Because instead of leaving it for your town to pick up, you can recycle your Christmas tree yourself and get a lot more for your money.

Use fallen needles to make scented pillows, add them to pet beds to make them comfy and sweet-smelling, or pour needles outside under acid-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons and hollies. Cut off the boughs to cozy over recently-planted bulbs for winter, then save the trunk as a support for climbing plants to grow up next spring.

But if you don’t want to fuss much with your Christmas tree right now, just lay it down in a far corner of your yard – let the birds nest there in the coming months and give the bunnies a place to hide from the cold. Then, late in the spring, when the weather’s nice, you can chop the tree up and use the bits for mulch, or toss them in the compost pile.