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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122518

Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl departs after leading a congregation of 4,000 in Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122517

Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl sings along with a choir as meals are given out to church attendees following Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122516

Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl departs after leading a congregation of 4,000 in Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122515

Pat Beronio of Martinsville, NJ. looks up at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception after Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl leads a congregation of 4,000 in Solemn Mass of Christmas Day, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122514

Church attendees get a look at a Christmas manger scene before Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl leads a congregation of 4,000 in Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122513

The Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, right, begins the Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122512

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, left, sings along with his wife Callista, right, as she and the rest of the The Basilica Choir makes their way to the main altar for the start of Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122511

A congregation of 4,000 fill the main church as Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl leads the Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122510

The Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl begins the Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122509

The shadow of Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl can be seen as he joins a processional for the Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122508

A processional makes its way to the main altar as the Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl leads a congregation of 4,000 in Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122507

Rachel Acol, of Hyattsville, Md., prays before the Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122506

Chidubem Nwabineli, 6, of Bowie, Md., right, checks out the reindeer antlers his sister, Chinemelum, 8, wears as they wait for Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl to lead a congregation of 4,000 in Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122505

A church attendant closes her eyes in prayer as Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, celebrates the Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122504

The Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, center, follows a processional to the main altar at the start of the Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122503

Jasmine Garcia, 6, of Bladensburg, Md., plays with a santa hat as she and other church goers wait for Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl to lead a congregation of 4,000 in Solemn Mass of Christmas Day . (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122502

A processional begins as the Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl leads a congregation of 4,000 in Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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CHRISTMAS_BASILICA122501

The Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl leads a congregation of 4,000 in Solemn Mass of Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, December 25, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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20121225-194544-pic-112264294.jpg

Christmas trees were for sale at the Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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20121225-194544-pic-604944530.jpg

Associated Press A LOT OF TREES: Choosing the right Christmas tree is a favorite tradition for families, but the needle-shedding evergreens become only memories after the holidays. That’s when governments and businesses take over and use the castoffs for a variety of purposes.