Henry and Clara, 2014At Christmas, we go to the Rancho Siempre Verde Christmas Tree Farm . . .
We have been going to this tree farm for about thirty years, since before the children were born, and before we moved into our current house 25 years ago. There are so many memories associated with RSV Christmas Trees that I thought I would share a few for Sian's Christmas Club storytelling gathering (you can read other Christmas Club stories here).
The RSV website promises "no plastic Santas, no long lines, no parking lot style Christmas trees just a relaxed rural farm, with very friendly people and a diversity of beautiful trees." And that's exactly what you get. It's a magical place, and we return year after year . . .
It's a "cut-your-own tree" farm. Which means you wander around looking for something that might be able to be shaped into a traditional looking tree, then you saw it off at the base, and get it to the baling station where they will wrap it up and help tie it to the top of your car. If you want, they will drive a tractor over to your felled tree and bring it to the baling station. They will even let your little kids sit on the driver's lap and "drive" the tractor!
2011 - Henry and Paul with our tree
2009 - Henry helping to bale the tree
But, RSV is about so much more than the trees . . .
Henry and Clara, 2010
The tree swings are one of the best things about RSV. They have them scattered throughout the farm, and we all love playing on them.
2013 with Aria and Gypsy
RSV is also a great place to bring dogs. Aria and Gypsy love going there, and it was the absolute favorite place for our previous dog, Buster. We used to call our annual trip to RSV, "Buster's favorite day of the year." He loved it so much that when he passed away, we buried a cast of his paw print at RSV at the foot of a tree. And every year, we go visit Buster's tree and think about what a good dog he was.
2009 - Scrapook page about Buster's tree (read full story here)
We always picnic there and sometimes roast marshmallow on the bonfire to make s'mores. I love wandering around and taking photographs with my camera. Paul usually makes a wreath at their wreath station.
2009 Paul and Clara making wreaths
2013 Paul and his wreath
We have so many other memories about RSV Christmas Trees, like the fact that . . .
My friend, Karen of Random Reflections, lives 3,000 miles away in New York. But she's been to RSV. I think she went on the rainiest, muddiest day possible and left with quite a story to tell . . .
One year (1988, maybe), Paul and I moved house during the holidays. We moved from our first apartment to our first condo. And we moved our tree! We had already visited the farm and put up the tree, so when we moved, we un-decorated the tree, moved it, put it back up and re-decorated!
2014 - our RSV wreath on our front door
And one last confession about RSV. We actually have an artificial tree now and no longer go there to buy a tree. But we still go . . . to have a picnic and make wreaths, to swing on the swings and let the dogs run wild, to make memories and experience the Christmas magic!