The Big White Tent

I realize people who visit Twenty Four At Heart come from many different nationalities and religious backgrounds.  This time of year, I love reading about the different traditions people have.  It's always interesting to learn about how other families celebrate their holidays.

My extended family comes from a wide variety of ethnicities and religious backgrounds.  We make an eclectic group.  Through the years there's been a mixing and melding of traditions.  The same thing is probably true of many families.

Yesterday I put something out on Twitter about purchasing our Christmas tree.  I got a few responses which made me realize how even something like acquiring a Christmas tree can vary a lot depending on where you live.

Years ago, we would go to a live Christmas tree lot and cut down a tree to bring home.  Never mind, the tree lot was in the middle of Orange County businesses … it made us feel rustic.  The fresh trees were great.  

Well, except for one thing.  It's so sunny where we live the trees would continue to grow after they were cut down.  They'd grow towards our biggest living room window.  The trunk would bend and bend, until eventually the tree would topple over and break all of the ornaments.

I decided we should buy deader trees.

About the same time, we started having a big holiday party each year.  By big, I mean we would have 150+ people drifting in and out of our house some years.  I felt like we needed a really big (!), beautiful (!), perfectly shaped (!) tree for the party.  We have very high vaulted ceilings in our living room and they scream for a tall tree.  We would even buy a second tree to put upstairs in our loft area.  It was magical to have two trees in the house.

It was also a lot of work.

The holiday party tradition died the year I had my car accident.  We stopped having two trees when the party died also.  

It makes me a little sad, if I'm honest.

We have, however, continued to have a big tree in our living room.  We don't go quite as big as we used to, but we get a tree that's about eleven feet tall each year.  It isn't always easy to find big trees in Orange County.  We've gone year after year to the exact same business.

It's simply called:  The Big White Tent.

IMG_3620_2
A family from Oregon brings a huge load of Christmas trees to sell in Orange County each year.  They have smaller trees (as you can see in the picture above) but they specialize in big trees.  The Big White Tent gets set up in various locations depending on where they can rent space.  Each year we get a postcard from them telling us where they'll be.

They always stay close to Money Town.  They're very smart business people. 

Inside the tent are trees – and more trees. 

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We always buy a Noble.  I'm not sure why.  I love the way they look and I also love how they fill the house with their intoxicating scent.

There are two other great features of a tree from The Big White Tent.  First, the workers deliver the tree to your home.  They bring it right into the house and twirl it around as many times (!) as you request until it's right where you want with it's best side facing forward.

I might take advantage of the Nice Men's abundance of tree-twirling patience.

There's a second advantage of buying a tree from the Big White Tent.  Your tree arrives in a bullet-proof stand.  By bullet-proof I mean it isn't possible for a beautiful Big White Tent Tree to topple over – no matter how tall it is.  (Well, maybe in a big enough earthquake, but it would have to be a very big one!)

If you celebrate Christmas, where does your tree come from?  If you don't celebrate Christmas, do you have any traditions for preparing to celebrate Hannukkah, Kwanzaa or any other holidays?

© Twenty Four At Heart

39 Responses to “The Big White Tent”

  1. Deidre

    I celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. When I was little, we used to go to the forest on our property and cut a tree down (we have a mighty big tree to 11 plus ft) But then my dad and I started going to a christmas tree farm together.
    This year, I am going to try to go to the Jewish Museum to see where I can purchase a menorah – I wanted to find out last year. but I couldn’t…

  2. Deidre

    I celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. When I was little, we used to go to the forest on our property and cut a tree down (we have a mighty big tree to 11 plus ft) But then my dad and I started going to a christmas tree farm together.
    This year, I am going to try to go to the Jewish Museum to see where I can purchase a menorah – I wanted to find out last year. but I couldn’t…

  3. Deidre

    I celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. When I was little, we used to go to the forest on our property and cut a tree down (we have a mighty big tree to 11 plus ft) But then my dad and I started going to a christmas tree farm together.
    This year, I am going to try to go to the Jewish Museum to see where I can purchase a menorah – I wanted to find out last year. but I couldn’t…

  4. Maureen@IslandRoar

    When we lived in NJ we drove out to the same country place to cut our tree each year. Here on Martha’s Vineyard there aren’t too many places to be able to cut down trees, but last year we found a farm that grows them for that purpose. They just stay fresher longer and keep their needles if we cut them ourselves. We have to use wire to “hook” it to the walls or our cats will knock it over attempting to climb for ornaments. We have tons of ornaments from over the years and the kids are always looking for their favorites. Love the smell and the lights!
    I never knew the live trees would keep growing if they got lots of sun; that seems so weird! I can see how you had to give up the 2 trees after your accident; Christmas traditions can be a lot of work!

  5. Maureen@IslandRoar

    When we lived in NJ we drove out to the same country place to cut our tree each year. Here on Martha’s Vineyard there aren’t too many places to be able to cut down trees, but last year we found a farm that grows them for that purpose. They just stay fresher longer and keep their needles if we cut them ourselves. We have to use wire to “hook” it to the walls or our cats will knock it over attempting to climb for ornaments. We have tons of ornaments from over the years and the kids are always looking for their favorites. Love the smell and the lights!
    I never knew the live trees would keep growing if they got lots of sun; that seems so weird! I can see how you had to give up the 2 trees after your accident; Christmas traditions can be a lot of work!

  6. Maureen@IslandRoar

    When we lived in NJ we drove out to the same country place to cut our tree each year. Here on Martha’s Vineyard there aren’t too many places to be able to cut down trees, but last year we found a farm that grows them for that purpose. They just stay fresher longer and keep their needles if we cut them ourselves. We have to use wire to “hook” it to the walls or our cats will knock it over attempting to climb for ornaments. We have tons of ornaments from over the years and the kids are always looking for their favorites. Love the smell and the lights!
    I never knew the live trees would keep growing if they got lots of sun; that seems so weird! I can see how you had to give up the 2 trees after your accident; Christmas traditions can be a lot of work!

  7. di

    Hubby and I ‘used’ to get a live tree each year and place it in our family room which, like yours, had very high… 15 foot vaulted ceiling. With age we have just decided it’s a lot of work for just the two of us since the kids don’t come for Christmas, but rather Thanksgiving or summertime instead. I really need to get back into the spirit of Christmas and decorate a bit more… *sighs*
    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

  8. di

    Hubby and I ‘used’ to get a live tree each year and place it in our family room which, like yours, had very high… 15 foot vaulted ceiling. With age we have just decided it’s a lot of work for just the two of us since the kids don’t come for Christmas, but rather Thanksgiving or summertime instead. I really need to get back into the spirit of Christmas and decorate a bit more… *sighs*
    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

  9. di

    Hubby and I ‘used’ to get a live tree each year and place it in our family room which, like yours, had very high… 15 foot vaulted ceiling. With age we have just decided it’s a lot of work for just the two of us since the kids don’t come for Christmas, but rather Thanksgiving or summertime instead. I really need to get back into the spirit of Christmas and decorate a bit more… *sighs*
    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

  10. Jan

    We do two trees as well – a “formal” tree with swanky decorations that can be seen from the street, and a “family” tree in the family room that is covered with all the handmade and collectible ornaments we’ve acquired over the years. I also have a very large collection of Santas and snowmen that has taken over the living room and is now spilling into the other rooms of the house.
    I love it all.
    However, no real trees; we got them for the first couple of years of my first marriage, but then we realized they set of Oldest Son’s allergies; in fact, they made him miserable.

  11. Jan

    We do two trees as well – a “formal” tree with swanky decorations that can be seen from the street, and a “family” tree in the family room that is covered with all the handmade and collectible ornaments we’ve acquired over the years. I also have a very large collection of Santas and snowmen that has taken over the living room and is now spilling into the other rooms of the house.
    I love it all.
    However, no real trees; we got them for the first couple of years of my first marriage, but then we realized they set of Oldest Son’s allergies; in fact, they made him miserable.

  12. Jan

    We do two trees as well – a “formal” tree with swanky decorations that can be seen from the street, and a “family” tree in the family room that is covered with all the handmade and collectible ornaments we’ve acquired over the years. I also have a very large collection of Santas and snowmen that has taken over the living room and is now spilling into the other rooms of the house.
    I love it all.
    However, no real trees; we got them for the first couple of years of my first marriage, but then we realized they set of Oldest Son’s allergies; in fact, they made him miserable.

  13. Pseudo

    I tried doing live Christmas trees when I first moved to Hawii, but it does nto go well. First, they are a fortune and half our Christmas budget. Second, with the heat, they dry out and look like a fire hazard before christmas even gets here. so, yes, we have a fake tree. Which I may not put up this year….

  14. Pseudo

    I tried doing live Christmas trees when I first moved to Hawii, but it does nto go well. First, they are a fortune and half our Christmas budget. Second, with the heat, they dry out and look like a fire hazard before christmas even gets here. so, yes, we have a fake tree. Which I may not put up this year….

  15. Pseudo

    I tried doing live Christmas trees when I first moved to Hawii, but it does nto go well. First, they are a fortune and half our Christmas budget. Second, with the heat, they dry out and look like a fire hazard before christmas even gets here. so, yes, we have a fake tree. Which I may not put up this year….

  16. Kelly

    We just go to a tree lot and buy one. About 6 feet tall usually. Then we throw it in the back of the truck and bring it home.

  17. Kelly

    We just go to a tree lot and buy one. About 6 feet tall usually. Then we throw it in the back of the truck and bring it home.

  18. Kelly

    We just go to a tree lot and buy one. About 6 feet tall usually. Then we throw it in the back of the truck and bring it home.

  19. Jack

    We have a million different traditions for Chanukah. One of my favorites is the family party we throw.

  20. Jack

    We have a million different traditions for Chanukah. One of my favorites is the family party we throw.

  21. Jack

    We have a million different traditions for Chanukah. One of my favorites is the family party we throw.

  22. Michelle

    We have a fake tree that already has the lights on it that we got on sale for $35! Take it out of the box, put the bottom on the floor, then the middle, then the top, and fluff it up. The tree is up and lit in 5 minutes flat. Christmas decorating has never been easier!

  23. Michelle

    We have a fake tree that already has the lights on it that we got on sale for $35! Take it out of the box, put the bottom on the floor, then the middle, then the top, and fluff it up. The tree is up and lit in 5 minutes flat. Christmas decorating has never been easier!

  24. Michelle

    We have a fake tree that already has the lights on it that we got on sale for $35! Take it out of the box, put the bottom on the floor, then the middle, then the top, and fluff it up. The tree is up and lit in 5 minutes flat. Christmas decorating has never been easier!

  25. Sandra

    We buy 4-5 ft $39 noble fir pre-cut. 12 years ago, before kids, we cut down a tree in the rain and it had lots of snails that fell out thru out the day. “plunk” on the tile they fell. We like them sans critters.

  26. Sandra

    We buy 4-5 ft $39 noble fir pre-cut. 12 years ago, before kids, we cut down a tree in the rain and it had lots of snails that fell out thru out the day. “plunk” on the tile they fell. We like them sans critters.

  27. Sandra

    We buy 4-5 ft $39 noble fir pre-cut. 12 years ago, before kids, we cut down a tree in the rain and it had lots of snails that fell out thru out the day. “plunk” on the tile they fell. We like them sans critters.

  28. Issa

    There is a lot where my trees come from. A parking lot where nice tree mens show up the day after Thanksgiving. I likey real trees.
    I was born in West LA and lived there the majority of my life. Our trees always came from a lot. I’d not even know how to cut one down myself.

  29. Issa

    There is a lot where my trees come from. A parking lot where nice tree mens show up the day after Thanksgiving. I likey real trees.
    I was born in West LA and lived there the majority of my life. Our trees always came from a lot. I’d not even know how to cut one down myself.

  30. Issa

    There is a lot where my trees come from. A parking lot where nice tree mens show up the day after Thanksgiving. I likey real trees.
    I was born in West LA and lived there the majority of my life. Our trees always came from a lot. I’d not even know how to cut one down myself.

  31. Mad Woman

    We have a fake tree from the local alternative to Walmart. I hate doing housework, so there’s no way I was gonna add vacuuming pine needles to that. I do miss the smell of the real trees though!!

  32. Mad Woman

    We have a fake tree from the local alternative to Walmart. I hate doing housework, so there’s no way I was gonna add vacuuming pine needles to that. I do miss the smell of the real trees though!!

  33. Mad Woman

    We have a fake tree from the local alternative to Walmart. I hate doing housework, so there’s no way I was gonna add vacuuming pine needles to that. I do miss the smell of the real trees though!!

  34. Michele

    We have a fake tree. Miss the smell but don’t miss the mess. The boys no longer help me decorate the tree and it is a lot of work so I think this year we won’t put the tree up. We also are going traveling over the Christmas break.

  35. Michele

    We have a fake tree. Miss the smell but don’t miss the mess. The boys no longer help me decorate the tree and it is a lot of work so I think this year we won’t put the tree up. We also are going traveling over the Christmas break.

  36. Michele

    We have a fake tree. Miss the smell but don’t miss the mess. The boys no longer help me decorate the tree and it is a lot of work so I think this year we won’t put the tree up. We also are going traveling over the Christmas break.

  37. Michelle Pixie

    We do the fake tree thing. (Although I have four live ones growing in the back yard!) I always burn Aunt Sadies famous tree in a can candle to get that fresh cut smell, but with little ones running/crawling around it’s nice to not worry about who may be eating the needles off the floor.

  38. Michelle Pixie

    We do the fake tree thing. (Although I have four live ones growing in the back yard!) I always burn Aunt Sadies famous tree in a can candle to get that fresh cut smell, but with little ones running/crawling around it’s nice to not worry about who may be eating the needles off the floor.

  39. Michelle Pixie

    We do the fake tree thing. (Although I have four live ones growing in the back yard!) I always burn Aunt Sadies famous tree in a can candle to get that fresh cut smell, but with little ones running/crawling around it’s nice to not worry about who may be eating the needles off the floor.

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