Christmas tree shopping in San Francisco is a fairly new activity for me. Until I became a grandmother I was happy with the realistic faux tree that I hauled up from basement every year. It seemed like the correct economic and ecologic decision. For a pine scent I just burned candles. And then the magic and wonder of the holiday through the eyes of my granddaughter cast its spell on me. Suddenly the words ‘sensible and economical’ used in the same sentence as ‘Christmas’ became oxymorons. Santa and all he represents was making a come back into my life so it felt appropriate to honor the occasion with the real stuff.
Yesterday we went Christmas tree shopping. And since our granddaughter is now four years old and of strong opinion, she chose the right one. But, before we left home we talked about where the tree was going to go. Because we have a small living room there were certain ground rules: the tree could only be slightly taller than she is and had to fit in the elevator.
We returned to the same lot we went to last year. The staff at Marina Middle School Christmas Tree Lot are charming and helpful. They were happy to fresh-cut the base of the tree for us and load the tree into the car. And proceeds benefit a good cause.
Since the lot was not busy (Friday afternoon is a great time to go) she and I played hide and seek in our own private forest of perfectly shaped Christmas trees while Papa paid.
Here are just a couple other Christmas Tree Lots that also benefit good causes.
The Guardsmen: Since 1947 the Guardsmen have been raising funds to help disadvantaged children in the Bay Area. The lot is located inside the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason. There is a jumpy house for the kids and I hear that there is booze for the adults.
Delancey Street Foundation: Providing residential self-help for former substance abusers. Founded in 1971 in an apartment in San Francisco. The sale of Christmas trees is an important training in the basics of sales. They also have a commercial division that provides decorating services to banks and large corporations.