As a kid, taking down the Christmas tree used to be so sad. Now I enjoy the after holidays uses of the tree almost as much. In addition to your gread suggestions, or after you have to remove the tree from the birds, you can clip the branches and use as a mulch cover on flower beds. Bulbs will still come up through the branches and squirrels will stay away. If a cedar tree, the trunk makes strong and great smelling handles for tools or walking sticks. You can drill holes in larger trunks and fill with peanut butter or suet for the birds as well.