Christmas Tree Farm


The generosity of my mother’s family is boundless, so growing up, the Japanese New Year’s tradition of otoshidama involved my receiving an absurd amount of money at the start of every year, absurd especially given how young I was. I naturally regarded money very frugally, and because my wants were never extravagant, the otoshidama was enough to cover expenses that would usually require children to beg their parents. The seriousness in which I approached buying things surprised even my family. If I eyed something on any given shopping trip, I would usually go home and spend days, weeks, debating whether to purchase it. My current approach to shopping is usually not to unless I’ve conjured up something specific that I want, and then I simply go buy that very thing. This canvas bag in poppy from here is a recent example, and what I reassuringly consider an early Christmas gift to myself. The goal was to have something delightfully bright for winter.
One of the bag’s first outings was to a Christmas tree farm in Santa Cruz. It was my first time going straight to the source for a Christmas tree and now I can’t imagine the ritual any other way. The pines and firs of the city are usually found cluttered outside Home Depot or within cement plots occupied by the same seasonal vendor year after year. To walk among so many shades of green of so many varieties of tree, growing quietly together in the cold, felt reassuring and calming. This particular farm hosted 50 acres of Christmas trees, and as the thick fog rolled in, the light dimmed and the air turned hazy, making the place feel far removed. There was a snack stand near the entrance of the farm, so I got a cup of hot chocolate for $1.25, and though it was the kind that simply requires mixing powder and hot water, something about being surrounded by Christmas trees made it taste absolutely divine. I went back for a second cup, along with some hot apple cider.


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  1. The holidays make everything seem more magical! I’m usually a very frugal person as well, but this year I’ve been spending a lot more money via online shopping. I think it’s because I’ve just started my freshman year of college; there are things I need to get that are much easier to buy online, but once I get one thing, I get hooked by all the other goodies and end up spending more than intended. Also, things are usually cheaper online, and I go crazy when I see sales haha. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

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