Got the homemade Chex Mix in the oven? Hung the mistletoe in its appropriate spot? Put the final touch on your rental Christmas tree? Well, grab a generous glass of mulled wine, sneak away, and take a gander at a few green home news items collected especially for your holiday weekend perusal. I'll be back on Monday — well-rested and at least 5 pounds heavier — with a fresh batch of green home goodness. Merry Merry, MNN readers.

The New York Times chats with Fabien Capello, a French designer who plucks "unceremoniously abandoned" Christmas trees from the streets and transforms them into $600 stools. 

The San Francisco Chronicle spots a new trend in festive holiday flora: Satsuma mandarin trees. Writes the Chronicle: "With their small orange fruit already nestled among vibrant green foliage these trees add a fresh addition to holiday plantings. Some people bring them indoors for the holidays, even decorating them as alternative Christmas trees, then planting them afterward."

The Los Angeles Times places its bets on which seasonal plants purchased at grocery stores will survive well past the holidays in Southern California. Among the subjects: a succulent wreath, amaryllis, chrysanthemum, poinsettia, and a "rosemary bush shaved into tree form."

Core77 announces the winners of the Cardboard Christmas Challenge. My favorite? The beer box reindeer head. 

TreeHugger asks all the important questions in an insightful post titled "Which is Worse, Air Leaks or Heat Loss? Neither. It's Energy Consumption that Matters." Lots of passionate chatter on R-values ensues.

The New Yorker looks to the work of 19th century British economist William Stanley Jevons in an insightful essay revolving around this central quandary: "If our machines use less energy, will we just use them more?" 

The Chicago Tribune doles out some optimistic news: "If there's a bright spot in the housing market, one that has both rehabbers and builders looking forward optimistically, it is the growing interest in going green."

Jetson Green checks out a 3-bedroom home in Seattle comprised of six factory-built modules that's expected to become the city's first LEED Platinum modular abode when completed in early 2011. The energy-efficient, Greenfab-developed home will also include photovoltaics, a rainwater recycling system, and a backyard chicken coop. 

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