In the shadow of girls wearing kickass coats.
Ohf. I was just over on Sweet Juniper, admiring the vintage baby coat on little Junebug. It made me want to show off Cedra's winter coat, which we picked up at DPAM in Carcassonne for a mere 27 euros. Laughing at how silly she looks in it has been a major depression-fighter this winter. Like on the day we were screwed by the Christmas tree farmer.
This was the first year either huz or I has put up a tree, ever. Last year it didn't cross our minds; Cedra was tiny, and went on vacation for Christmas. But this year capitalism dictated that there were a full four weeks of "holiday" season before Hanukkah started on December 25th, and we just couldn't wait it out. We had to get on with the cheer.
So in early December we headed up to the the Bay Area's Christmas headquarters, the town of Occidental in Sonoma County. They've been making a good percentage of the US's door wreaths since the 40s or something, and there are tree farms everywhere. We picked the friendly and festive sounding Frosty Mountain Tree Farm. Well, screw them. We wanted a wee little apartment-sized tree, and picked one that stood less than 48 inches tall. I mean, we have no ornaments and were planning to make them ourselves. It had to be small. I want you to know that that Frosty Mountain assclown shook out our tree, half-glanced at it and proclaimed it to be seven feet tall. Seven feet, forty-five bucks! I waited for Michael to balk. He waited for me to do it. Neither of us did. Maybe we just figured this is the way Christmas goes, you know? We paid $45 for a 45 inch tree. Then the same guy sizes up the tree again, looks at our compact car and shamelessly declares that there's no need to truss the tree to the hood, "it should fit in the trunk pretty easy."
Here's the winter coat at the tree farm, and sourpuss Cedra posing with the decorated tree later (much later, this photo was taken January 1, five minutes before we took the tree down. The prop Red Envelope box is empty):
Anyway, we decorated our lame little tree and even a gingerbread house. My MIL bought us a Playmobil Christmas panorama of a photographer snapping a little Danish plastic kid on Santa's lap, then probably charging his mother $45 bucks. But next year, forget it. We suck at Christmas.
However, if YOU should head up to Occidental next year, note: Frosty Mountain Tree Farm and its neighbor and rival, Reindeer Ridge, are owned by feuding members of the same family. So give your money to the reindeer.
Now excuse me, I'm off to knit Junebug's hat thanks to the generous pattern posted by its maker. Call me a follower, but the Junipers set a high bar. And these SF girls've gotta represent.