Last year when we went to get our tree, the lot was still damp from rain but it was warm enough out for bare legs! It's kind of astonishing that we ended up with almost exactly the same size tree this year, albeit through a series of humorous and unintended follies. We decided to drive out to Half Moon Bay, where certain farms hand you a big old saw and let you pick your own to cut down. It was a spectacularly clear and sunny day, but with enough wintry bite to remind you what season it is.

I got the idea into my head because growing up it was always great fun when my family drove out to Half Moon Bay to chop down and carry home our very own special Christmas tree. In my mind, I was so small and the number and size of the trees so very vast that I would run around and get lost with my siblings. The trees were a deep, bold green and it all smelled like heaven. There was hot cider and everyone was happy, rosy-cheeked and smiling. Delightful! The most wholesome Normal Norman Rockwell-like memory of my happy childhood, really, and as it were it's a big fat S H A M.

What is that?! Do you see that?! That's not Christmas tree material! That's a bush thing butchered to merely resemble a vague Christmas tree shape. There were so many of these, and tricksy M kept trying to sell me on 'em. Outrageous! They didn't even smell Christmas-y, and I was taking one home over my dead, hacked-to-pieces-with-a-rusty-saw body. I don't know if it's been a bad few years for trees (yes, I hear myself, please shut up) or we arrived too late in the season, but something's changed in the past 20+ years, clearly.

The actual Douglas and Noble Firs still standing were too sad for our purposes. (I mean, look at that poor guy up there, center left.) They'd make fine Charlie Brown Christmas trees, or even perfectly acceptable 4'-5' trees for smaller homes. I'm not disparaging them.

We wandered acres and acres, holding out hope for "the one" so that we could make our own perfect lumberjack lesbian family holiday moment. We'd pass other families circling like despondent vultures, kids in tow, M expressing solidarity with the exasperated husbands declaring that "the next one we find, we're cutting down!" and me rolling my eyes good-naturedly with the women, and then we'd all fight over who got to carry the saw.

It was the saddest thing ever. Eventually we all became delirious, at several points ganged up on one another in different configurations, but mostly there was a great deal of laughter (and a flask of bourbon, I ain't gonna lie). I fed it to M while we hiked another mile to check out one last patch of land, and that's where we decided to plop down on a hillside to ready ourselves to admit defeat.


Across the street, at another farm, dozens of absolutely perfect, lush, full, enormous trees. Sure, someone had already chopped them down, but we'd been out looking for hours and hours and damn hours, and no longer gave a shit. God, they were perfect. After a quick and very absurd family discussion, we got the hell out of there and went across the street, and found our special tree. (I had a brief dalliance with a Grand Fir, but we settled on a Noble. I'm a Noble gal at heart, as was my dear Aunt Judith.) The end! 

OUTFIT STUFF! I call these my "femme cargo pants" even though they are not quite that at all. They're from H&M and have neat panels on the inner leg, like riding pants, with zippers all over the place. Pockets, ankles. Little baby snaps on the bum pockets. The faux fur vest is H&M as well, and the ruffled silk blouse is Lauren by Ralph Lauren. The pony belt is M's but I steal it a lot. Boots are Nine West, the studded envelope clutch is Matt & Nat.

I'm wearing my stormy vintage ring from Pretty Penny, along with a Mariele Ivy necklace and lots of bracelets from Old Navy, actually. The earrings were a gift from M, lovely antique gold hoops with spangly bits of abalone.

Don't worry, M brought her lumberjack hotness and she's up next, along with before/after pics of the actual tree.

Hope everyone is having a lovely December out there,