It's been years that we've been going to Treeland in Calabasas to pick out a living Christmas tree. Except for a sad stretch when there was an awful blight and we had to make do with white and Afghan pines, they sell Monterey pines, which are California natives.
Well, there are a few other trees for sale, some junipers and firs and even some redwoods, but mostly it's the lovely green and spice of the Monterey.
It's a family business so the same guy writes up your order each year, and the same woman takes your cash, and the guys who load your tree into the pickup have done that for you for close to two decades now.
It takes (some of us) an hour to pick a tree. There's the quick preliminary walk-through in which you think five or six of the pines might be perfect. Then you cruise and re-cruise the stock and one by one, the options shrink until there it is, The One.
And here's our guy this year, the tallest yet, as the ceilings in this new little house are so high:
Pretty. And it smells good, too.