Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Club: RSV Christmas Trees

Henry and Clara, 2014
At 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 . . .
Clara 2013
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!

16 comments:

Miriam said...

A lovely set of memories and great pictures. You have reminded me of the times we used to visit a farm & cut our tree. We still have a real one, I love the perfume and texture of the leaves Actually buying and decorating the tree is my favourite part of the holiday. It's so good to see you blogging again Rinda.

Sian said...

It sounds like a wonderful place! We couldn't wait for TTO to get home before we bought our real tree this year, but he's here now and we saved him his decorations to put on to finish it off. Happy Christmas Rinda! Thanks for joining in Christmas Club

Cheri said...

I think making your own wreath is such a COOL idea! Love it!

debs14 said...

Looks an amazing place! What a great tradition to have. I like the idea of being able to make your own wreath too. Great photos and great memories. Happy Christmas Rinda - it's lovely to see you back in Blogland x

scrappyjacky said...

I've always enjoyed your christmas tree posts....it looks such a wonderful place....and a great family tradition.

Mel said...

Wow aren't traditions great? Love that you have the photos each year to track their growth!

Becky said...

That looks such a wonderful place and it is great that you have so many happy memories of it. Merry Christmas to you all!

Carola Bartz said...

What a wonderful tradition to go to the same tree farm for such a long time. It sounds like a lovely place, so I can certainly understand that. How sweet that you burried the cast of your dog's print near there - that is very special!

Jennifer Shaw said...

Wow what an amazing place to go to. I would love to visit a place like this. A wreath station sounds amazing!!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

A perfectly lovely spot to spend an afternoon - it looks like fun all down through the years.

ally said...

Oh wow what an amazing place. Have an awesome christmas

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

What an amazing place to get your Christmas tree. Lovely photo of your children swinging together. You've solved a mystery for me too! I saw a metal cylinder, like the orange one in your photo, outside a local supermarket and wondered what on earth it was. I've obviously never seen a tree being baled.

alexa said...

What super memories to have - and a clutch of lovely photos to go with it. Lovely to see you posting again too. Though I can't quite get used to the idea of people not buying Christmad trees whilst wearing coats, hats and scarves!

Abi said...

I would love to find somewhere like that over in the UK. A wreath making station sounds amazing! I agree with Alexa though! I can't get over how warm and sunny it looks!

Missus Wookie said...

That is my usual compromise - fake tree but real wreath. RSV sounds like a wonderful place to go and experience Christmas magic :)

Gail said...

That sounds wonderful. I've never been anyplace like that and now that we have an artificial tree (allergies and asthma) but I do like your idea of going at least for a picnic.