We officially kicked into the Christmas season yesterday by going to get a tree and the appropriate greenery for the mantle and such. We’ve had kind of a unofficial tradition for several years of buying our tree from these guys who come down from “up north” from some place– I think near Traverse City, though it might be the UP– and set up in a parking lot. (For locals: these guys used to set up where the Whole Foods is now, when that was a more or less abandoned field. Last year, they were in the parking lot in front of Merchant of Vino over on Plymouth).
And when I say “set up,” I mean set up. They had a big ol’ airstream camper that they, about five guys, would set up and live in for about a month while selling their trees and wreaths and such. Part of the ritual was going inside the camper to write a check; it was a bit like going back in time a bit since the camper interior was more or less 1950’s vintage, and it always seemed a bit too warm, and the dark mess beyond the “business” area seemed a bit like a frat house or perhaps a hunting lodge.
Anyway, it cost a little more, but the trees were good, the customer service was excellent, and traditions can be fun.
Well, we went by the parking lot where they were last year and they weren’t there. The last time they had moved from one parking lot to another across town, they actually sent us a postcard to inform us of the move; we didn’t get anything like that this year. So in confusion, the Christmas tree tradition ends.
Annette and I were a bit perplexed about where else we should get a tree. After stopping by a local store that was more or less selling “boutique” trees, we ended up at Home Depot. The trees were cheap, but it was very much a “do-it-yourself” kind of operation, and the quality of trees was slim. Still, once we got it set up and once Annette figured out the lighting, it looks pretty much like a Christmas tree.
Next year, I want to go some place where I can cut my own.
It appears that the guys with the big camper have indeed set up in Ann Arbor this year– this time, in front of the Dollar Store on Washtenaw across the street from Arborland. Oh well; maybe next year.