11/30/1998 AT 12:00 AM EST
An environmental Ebenezer Scrooge? A very pro-earth message was imparted Thursday by Patrick Stewart, who plays the Dickensian born-again Christian in the holiday staple "A Christmas Carol" in its latest incarnation (set to air Sunday on TNT). Talking about how he celebrates Christmas at his house, Stewart told PEOPLE at a New York reception for the telepic: "The tree has always been a very big part of it. Next week I shall be going down and making that all-important selection. I have not been able to find a living tree in Los Angeles. But when I lived in England, I always believed in trying to find a growing tree -- one that could be replanted after the season. I hate to sit there during the holidays and watch it slowly die."