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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

A Visit To Tex's Tree Farm- Stacey Cardalines reporting...

 


A lot of people get their trees from Wal-Mart, or a gas station, or some vacant lot where a bunch of trees are stacked against a fence. Someone playing SL can order one from the SL Marketplace, None of these is a good option.


Unless you are a complete zero, you instead want to head out into the country, find a cut n carry tree farm, and hack down your own tree with a big ax like a goddamned man! A girl can cut a tree down too, but it's more fun to tease men. Societal expectations can cut both ways, and a girl can get away socially with saying "Like I'm gonna cut down a tree..."


My husband has a pretty hard job, and he likes to rest on his off days. That's all well and good, but we have to drive from Duxbury to West Bridgewater- about 45 minutes in the car- passing several Wal-Marts and Home Depots on the way- and get our tree from a farm. There is a "Sorry, kids. Mommy gave up this year" vibe to get a tree from a gas station, and I won't do that to my kids. I also only choose the tree, after which my husband cuts it, carries it, ties it to the car, drives it home, and fits it into the stand for the kids and I to decorate. God made my husband bigger and handier, so blame him.




Once you shame your man into doing the cutting, you need to find a place out in the sticks where you can go all Jack Torrance on a spruce tree. Fortunately, Stacey has taken care of that for you.





Tex's is unique in that you can go there, find a tree that is ostensibly growing, and take an axe to it. It will then be moved into your inventory (after you give Tex a little Linden Love, of course) and you can do what you wish with it after. 

Even if you don't have a house or a business to decorate, there are worse ways to spend a December day than walking around a Christmas tree farm. There is a Ghetto Christmas aspect to this, but it beats sitting in a tavern... although I'd recommend sitting in the tavern while before going, so you are properly Jolly.

There isn't much time left before Christmas, so hustle out to Tex's Tree Farm and get you some!



Added SLE Bonus: Fun Christmas Tree Facts!


- Christmas trees date back to medieval Latvia and Estonia, and non-Christian decorated trees may go back to the caveman days. Evergreen trees were decorated in ancient China and Egypt. 

- The custom spread through Germanic territories to Western Europe, usually by the upper classes. Trees are referenced in 1400s Portugal and 1500s France. 

- The Christmas tree came to America with German immigrants. Our founding fathers failed to get in on this trend early, as North America's first Christmas tree was put up by Hessian soldiers stationed in Quebec. Remember, Massachusetts was founded by people stuffy enough to ban Christmas in the 1600s, and the only things they hung off trees here were Witches.

- Your typical Christmas tree is some form of evergreen conifer, like pine, fir, and spruce. Some folks use juniper or cypress, and wouldn't The Starry Night look cooler if Van Gogh had painted some tinsel onto the cypress?

- The star and the angel that you see on top of Christmas trees are symbolic of Bible stuff. The star represents the Star of Bethlehem, which guided the Magi to the manger where Jesus lay. The angel represents God's messenger, Gabriel. You know him from the Annunciation, which was when God, through Gabriel, told Mary that she would bear Jesus. I'm agnostic and apologize for the religious stuff, but it is good for one to know such things.

- Elaborate snowflakes are the most common non-religious tree topper.

- Christmas trees generally go up, even unintentionally with non-religious people, along the lines of Advent, which is the 4th Sunday before Christmas. This coincides with "right after Thanksgiving" in the US.

- The tree tends to come down around the Epiphany, aka the Adoration of the Magi, which is when the Three Kings found Jesus.

- Traditionally, the tree went up on Christmas Eve and would come down on January 6th. This time span is what we now know as the Twelve Days of Christmas.

- The Twelve Days Of Christmas song uses a pear tree, not spruce or fir.

- Queen Victoria and her Germanic Albert were sketched with their children by a Christmas tree in 1848, which boosted tree love in the UK and the USA.

- The first White House tree was put up by Benjamin Harrison in 1889.

-Teddy Roosevelt, an ardent conservation guy, refused to put up a tree. He was unaware that a tree farm generally plants more trees than they cut down.

- Thomas Edison's assistants invented electric Christmas tree lights. Candles were used before then, and fires were common.

- The Rockefeller Center tree first went up in the Depression, when construction workers pooled their assets and bought a tree. The tree is presently topped by a 500-pound crystal star. The tree has been up to 100 feet high and has 30,000 lights.

- Oregon produces the most real Christmas trees. China produces the most (80%) artificial ones.

- Balsam Fir and Scotch Pine are the most popular trees, although it varies by region.

- 35% of trees are sold at garden centers/retail stores. 25% from cut/carry farms, 15% from tree lots and 15% from non-profits.

- Every year, Boston is given a giant tree from Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is a thank you for Boston sending aid to Halifax after a 1917 explosion destroyed half of the city.

- "Christmas tree" came in 8th in a poll of American's favorite smells. They were one spot higher than perfume and one behind bacon. 

- Several murders and beatings have been committed by a husband and wife debating "white lights vs multi-color lights." I've struck my own husband over this debate.

- American songbird Taylor Swift was raised on a Christmas tree farm.

- "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" was written by Johnny Marks. Marks is an obscure artist, which is amazing because he also wrote "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and all the songs in the Rudolph animated special, including "Silver And Gold" and "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas." He is also the author of "I Don't Want A Lot For Christmas," which means that Mariah Carey owes him a little somethin' somethin'. Of course, he was Jewish.

- Since 9/11, the most famous fire in New York City involved a homeless man putting a Bic to the Fox News Christmas Tree.

- Charlie Brown was once ridiculed for buying a small tree for the Peanuts Christmas pageant. However, small trees have since become fashionable. and are often referred to as Charlie Brown trees. In the real world, that would get Charlie laid, but the Peanuts cartoon beats the hell out of that poor kid, and I always expected to see him shooting up the high school in some special. Lucy consoled Charlie Brown by telling him that "Everyone knows that Christmas is a racket run by some big eastern syndicate."

- "I own a cat" ranked higher than "I am not a Christian" among people surveyed about not having a Christmas tree, and by a large margin. An indoor tree, filled with shiny things to swat at, is irresistible to a cat.

- The American carol "Oh Christmas Tree" is actually a remix of "O Tannenbaum," a German song that doesn't mention Christmas and which may be about a faithless lover.

- A freshly cut tree will drink a quart of water a day.

- Christmas trees take 7-10 years to mature..

- Christmas trees are involved in one-tenth of one percent of U.S. residential fires. Cut and carry Christmas tree farms figure into .027% of ax-related injuries in America, an impressive number considering they are a seasonal item and that America has a lot of lumberjacks.

- America has since come correct on conifers.  America produces about 35 million Christmas trees a year, with Europe being good for another 60 million. 

- Americans spent 2 billion dollars on trees in 2016, making a liar of whoever said "Money doesn't grow on trees." We, sadly, spent $1.8 billion on fake trees. The average price of a tree in 2017 was $73, and that price is about the same today. 

- America has 15,000 tree farms, not including Tex's Tree Farm, which is animated. They provide at least seasonal employment for 100,000 Americans, including journalists like me who have a boss going, "One Christmas tree article? Please?"

- A third of these tree farms are, like Tex's, chosen and cut. This is good because axes and chainsaws are always fun. No holiday is lessened by chainsaw use.

(pause)

OK, maybe Arbor Day.

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