December 18, 2009

Advent calendar of Christmas memories

I stopped adding "memories" posts, because they all led to the same thing. It was a good idea, but I ran out of memories.

We did make a few memories of our own, though. For every Christmas since we moved to California in 1991, we've gone to a tree farm to cut our own tree. The freshness is incomparable to the sorry trees we used to get in Hawaii from the Pacific Northwest.

We used to go to Union Mine Pines in Amador County, where Roz and Bob Deutsch have a small tree farm. However, it is a long way to drive, and Highway 49 is hilly and twisty, and the tree tied to the roof of our small car never seemed quite secure. (That's a part of the tradition, too - checking the tree every few miles to be sure it's still tied down tight.)

Roz used to work for Sacramento Public Library, and she grew up in Hawaii, so we had some memories to share. She, too, was in Hawaii on the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. They have a cute cabin on the farm, all decorated in red and green and with a nice wood stove in the living room. Bob collects antique farm equipment, and has lots of stories about them and how they were used. They have a Santa cut-out, and offer hot chocolate, candy canes, and Polaroid photos of the families with their freshly-cut trees. (I should find ours and scan them - good way to see the kids growing up each year!)

Lately, we've been getting our trees from Davis Ranch in Sacramento County. This year, as always, we got the perfect tree. The weather, however, was not perfect last Sunday. We managed to arrive at the ranch between showers, and tromped through the rows of mud to make our choice. Husband lay down on a tarp to saw it off, and then we netted it, loaded up the trunk, and brought it home. The kids are long past the days when they were eager to go find a tree, but Daughter did a beautiful job decorating our tree this year. Not sure what we'll do next year, because we may be empty-nesters by then!

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