It's official. As of yesterday, the first week of December will now be regarded as "National Christmas Tree Week." Who do we have to thank? Sen. Jeff Merkley, doing the good work at the Senate.

And this isn't just a casual put-it-on-a-cheap-calender-and-forget-it holiday. It comes with some serious rules. Here's the Senate's resolution:

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) designates the first full week of December in 2011 as “National Christmas Tree Week”;
(2) encourages the celebration of Christmas trees during that week;
(3) recognizes the role Christmas trees have played in the history of the United States;
(4) reaffirms the environmental benefits of Christmas tree farms and recycled Christmas trees;
(5) encourages the recycling of Christmas trees after the holiday season; and
(6) celebrates the joy Christmas trees bring to families across the United States.

Can we all just picture the Senate celebrating joy for a minute? Ahhh. That's what Christmas is all about.

Turns out, it's also a sneaky way to promote Oregon's mighty economy. Last year alone, Oregon harvested 57,000 acres of Christmas trees, selling over 6.4 million trees to a value of over $90 million — a pretty hefty sum. "While Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, they are vitally important to Oregon’s economy. We produce more Christmas trees than any other state in the union, and we are proud of that tradition," says Wyden in a press release.

Now go forth and celebrate those trees, damn it.

[UPDATE: This post was incorrect in listing Senator Wyden as the main sponsor of the bill—it's actually Senator Merkley. Wyden is a co-sponsor and the quotes in the post come from Merkley. Sorry for the error!]