The Old Farm Christmas Place, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

This was my Christmas tree last year. There are perks to using a vintage aluminum tree besides the sparking beauty and its mid-century kitschy glory:
  • It’s environmentally sound because no trees are killed.
  • It was made in the USA.
  • There’s no toxic PVC outgassing like contemporary artificial trees. 
  • You can save money by reusing the same tree year after year.
But the drawbacks? 
  • Pulling each branch out of its fragile paper sleeve and putting it in the “trunk” (121 times in the case with my tree) can get tedious. 
  • Keeping the ornaments, all 130 of them from falling is tricky, the reason being that the branches don’t offer a place for the hook to settle and are conducive to having them slide off.  
  • I lost about three ornaments a year due to breakage from slide-offs.
  • Disassembling the tree and placing the pom pom branches back in the sleeves 121 times without damaging them is a drag. 
  • You can’t string lights on it because it’s a fire hazard which is why a color wheel is used instead. 
  • It doesn’t fill the room with the aroma of fresh pine.
I have a smaller aluminum tree I considered displaying this year, but 2016 has been about breaking away from old traditions (ruts) and welcoming new ones with Wayne. We decided to do this instead:



I’ve never ever had a real Christmas tree! I never liked the idea of killing a tree to display it for a few weeks and then have it end up in the dump. But now I have a different perspective and want to explain why I gave up artifice for the real deal this year. But first, the field trip!


The Christmas tree farmhouse is from the 1700s. The attached barn is new addition but built to look old.


It was a very cold and overcast day but it was still beautiful to be outside in such a picturesque setting.



This puppy! That face! Happy dogs in sweaters make me smile and there were many families who brought theirs along.


It’s a short walk to the Christmas trees.


You pick your tree from those that are tagged, tear off the bottom tag and pay.




I told Wayne I wanted a small tree, about four feet, to fit on a table. 

Look at all of the little tagged trees available! We were concerned that they would only have larger ones.


There were many more selections but we found the one we wanted!

We had them cut it down for us. Stand back! Timber!

Ok, a cute guy holding up a cute tree.


A staff member offered to take our pic for us. (The bulky sweater underneath my fleece and the way I was standing makes my hip look gigantic?!)


Another view.


A field of saplings with one fully grown tree. Role model?



The owner was super friendly and processed payments in that little shelter.
Trees and people hitched a tractor ride back.
They place the trees on this machine that gives them a good shake to remove loose needles. Afterward the tree is wrapped in netting.


Here’s the gift shop which is inside that new barn addition.

Two ladies were making wreaths.



Someone else offered to take our pic. Everyone around us seemed to be in good spirits which was so refreshing after spending too much time immersed in toxic social media the past few weeks. Plus, fresh air is always a curative balm.
I realized that family owned local tree farms like The Old Farm Christmas Place can grow trees responsibly, be good for the environment and the economy by creating jobs. I loved being outdoors and around so many happy people. We’re going to keep our tree out of the dump and lay it to rest and decompose in our woods after its glamorous table top stint.



Wayne’s car smelled dreamy all the way home. It’s really starting to feel like Christmas!

My absolute favorite part of yesterday was seeing Timmy’s face literally light up when I plugged in the little lights and began to string them around the tree. He was on the floor with Wayne and stopped eating his lettuce to look up and watch with his one good eye.

I’ll be back soon with pics of the decked out tree!

Maine Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Recipe

I was talking to my 100 year old Nana on the phone yesterday and shared my Thanksgiving menu. She told me that she has never had pumpkin pie! She explained that she’s an apple pie girl. I was the same way, which makes sense since no one in my family ever served it to me until I had my first ever pumpkin pie last year and loved it.

Continue reading “Maine Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Recipe”