A STROLL AMONG THE FIRS: Saying the holidays come too quickly is said so often, by so many of us, that it is nearly a sentiment that can be played on loop. But what we're really saying here is that the stressful bits of the season seem to land upon us with surprise, and, soon after, we're all feeling fully overwhelmed. But when we embrace the more peaceful aspects of the season: carving a pumpkin, stirring turkey gravy, or strolling in silence among hundreds of still-in-the-ground Christmas trees, well. That go-go-go, hair-pulling berserkness of the end of the year seems miles away.
WHICH IS WHY... it is nice to greet Christmas even as it follows on the heels of Halloween. Because Christmas in November can mean a trip to pick out and reserve a fir from a bucolic and peace-sweet tree farm. You'll have 198 more errands before New Year's Day, it is true, but the choosing of your tree from an old-school stretch is one of the season's stress-lowering pleasures. Truth. And while many farms from Napa to Sacramento to San Jose and south debut around Thanksgiving week, the decades-old Moon Mountain Christmas Tree Farm in Sonoma County gets going over the first weekend of November.
WHICH MEANS... you can arrive and pick out your still-sprouting beauty starting on Saturday, Nov. 2. They're only open weekends through the month, so aim for a Saturday or Sunday, and plan on strolling the farm a bit while you breathe in that fir-sweet smell. Right? Sorry pumpkins and cider and chocolate -- you're nice, but nothing is even close to that pine-y holiday goodness that a tree farm emits. If we know that smell is just ahead, then we don't mind the holidays arriving early.