We still have another week of November! I'm very happy with how the calendar falls this year: an early Thanksgiving leaves us with a full week before the magical month of December is upon us. This is the ideal scenario for those who aren't especially gifted at planning ahead (ahem ahem). There are 2 types of people in the world: those who complete all of their Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, and the rest of us.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, my family took our annual trip into the woods to cut down our Christmas tree. This is one of the very special things about living in the Bay Area: you're in a city environment, yet Christmas tree farms abound. Heaven forbid you chop and go; this is an experience, a place to spend at least an hour looking for the best tree. You deliberate, decide, saw, carry, tie onto your car, sip apple cider, breathe in the mountain air. It's the best way to kick off the Christmas season.
Our living room has a 12-foot ceiling. Last year, we chose a 12-foot slender tree to reach all the way to the rafters. It was chopped, netted, and strapped onto the car when we made our final stop at the payment booth, where we were informed that we'd be paying for each extra foot of tree beyond 8 feet. YIKES! We ended up with a $100 tree. This year, I was determined to find a better deal for a ceiling-tickling tree.
Peacock Tree Farm was the perfect destination. All trees are a flat fee of $70 and it's conveniently located in the Los Gatos Mountains, one minute from the Summit Road exit off Highway 17. They provide saws, twine, apple cider, picnic areas, and candy canes. The saws are shaped like a scythe with a long pole handle, which made it much easier and safer for the children to participate in sawing (small saws are harder for them to maneuver). They even have a tree shaker that vibrates the tree to release the loose needles that would otherwise fall on your living room floor. We didn't need to use it: our kids took care of the shaking while hauling the tree to the car.
We'll be returning to Peacock Tree Farm. The property is stunning, the selection is vast, the staff is helpful and friendly, and the price is right. It's hands-down the place to go for a BIG tree. As we departed, we saw the Peacock staff helping to load a tree with a 1-foot diameter trunk into the back of a truck. I couldn't help but think, Is that Clark Griswold? :)
From the Peacock Tree Farm flyer:
BENEFITS OF A LIVE TREE
Christmas trees are more than just the celebration of life during the holidays, they're a source of life after it. Unlike artificial trees, which aren't biodegradable and will remain in landfills for centuries after they are disposed of, Real Christmas trees give back to the environment in a variety of ways:
- Just one acre of a Christmas tree farm produces the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people.
- For each Christmas tree harvested, two to three new trees are planted in its place.
- Tree farms provide habitat for wildlife.
- Christmas trees are biodegradable.
- When cut properly, a tree will live to produce again.