Two geeks and a tree.

Yesterday afternoon we trekked into the wilderness south of San Francisco. The destination was Frosty’s Christmas Tree Farm. My buddy wanted to harvest his own chunk of Christmas cheer and Woody and I are always excited for a car ride.

It was a beautiful afternoon. Fog hung in the valleys between tree-lined, single-lane roads. Following hand-made signs, we eventually found the entrance to Frosty’s. Drive through the gate and a friendly person hands you a saw—from there you’re left to roam the hillside. Some were having picnics. Others set their kids free and smiled while leaning on their BMWs. Families in massive SUVs splattered a little mud on their pearly white 4x4s. Soft San Franciscans in $400 hiking boots made their way through the thicket and felt like they were connecting with nature. All was well.

Us? We had a quick beer and went zigzagging through the shrubs. 30 minutes later, the tree was strapped to the car, Woody was leaving muddy paw prints all over the upholstery and the smell of pine hung thick in the air. It wasn’t until that exact moment that we realized the cut-your-own-Christmas-tree place was probably a cash-only establishment.

We slowly made our way toward the exit. I wasn’t sure how the whole thing would pan out. We approached a small shed where another friendly person was standing by with a bowl of candy canes. We explained the situation.

“No problem guys…just send us a check,” the guy at the exit responded, handing me an envelope with their address stamped on the outside. “Nobody trusts anybody anymore, but we’re not like that. We still trust people…have a good one.”

Suddenly it felt like Christmas. The spirit of the holiday started to shine through. The fact that two well-compensated dudes from the city couldn’t come up with $60 didn’t matter. We were dumb asses for being unprepared for the obvious, but thanks to the genuinely nice people  at the farm we weren’t ridiculed or judged. I was blown away and charmed.

For those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas. And for those of you who celebrate and want a fresh-cut tree, I’d suggest a trip to Frosty’s. Just do them a favor and hit the ATM before you leave the city.


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