is welcome on a sentimental afternoon, a day for choosing and cutting and a putting up a Christmas tree, the sooner the better, the day after Thanksgiving.
The tree farm we patronize offers many types, making it hard to decide.
But we go for the concolor fir, just because we’ve done that before. That’s sentimentality. There’s a guy who concurs, “It’s nice and soft and smells good.”
Driving north we listen to Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane, their brilliant album from 1963. At one time I thought of those guys as old fogeys. The very thought of you makes my heart sing… That’s sentimental. I remember first hearing the album 30 years ago in Laurel Canyon, with a gas-powered fireplace and sky-high eucalyptus trees outside that smelled like cat piss. Looking back on a joyful winter so long ago, that’s sentimental.
It used to be that people went into the forest to collect their trees, until around the 1930s. This is the agricultural alternative. Less sentimental, but sentimental enough the way we do it now.
The day is wet, with sloughs of mud. Remember the time we came before, with my brother and his girlfriend, and everything that happened then…That’s sentimental.
It’s all we can do not to take the first tree we see.
This specimen certainly looks perfect enough. There are perfect trees all over, and some that will someday be perfect.
The shop is a bounty of sentimentality, families and dogs.
And ornaments. Something for everyone.
That one has my name on it. The lemur. Of course. There is a myth that the ornament you like was made for you, or the tree you choose is perfect for you, almost that it was grown all those years with you in mind. Our choice has been pruned back for so many years it’s ridiculous.
But then I’m a bit ridiculous too. And sentimental to a fault.