The holiday season comes at you fast. No sooner have the pumpkin pie leftovers been packed away in the freezer than the tinkling of jingle bells echoes through the malls. If last year involved trying to secure a tree when all that was left on the lots were stunted, rejected specimens, it might pay to plan ahead this year.
Deck the halls
Getting a tree from the Guardsmen has been a San Francisco tradition since 1947. The organization uses the proceeds from its San Francisco Christmas tree lot to finance summer camp trips for the city’s at-risk youth. Volunteers take days off from work to pull on a fetching green jumpsuit and cut and stand the trees ready for sale. Families return every year to get their tree from the Guardsmen, knowing they are entering into the charitable festive spirit.
When: From November 25
Where: 2 Marina Blvd San Francisco, CA 94123
Once the Halloween pumpkin season is out of the way, the Speer Family turns its attention to the festive holiday with the Wonderland tree operation selling trees from two East Bay spots and one in Redding. Choose from the farm’s five varieties of tree: Noble Fir, Nordman Fir, Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, and Silver Tip—all sustainably raised in the Southern Oregon woodlands. Garlands, wreaths, and custom flocking are also available.
When: From November 22
Where: 2153 Ferry Point, Alameda, CA; Bay St Shopping Center, 5600 Shellmound St, Emeryville CA; Shasta Mall, 900 Dana Dr, Redding, CA
Another Halloween specialist, Moore’s switches its focus from pumpkins to Yuletide from late November. The family operation has been providing festive fun since 1984. Their Winter Wonderland Park offers Christmas trees in a host of varieties and sizes, along with wreaths, decorations, and plenty of festive attractions for the family. It’s the ideal place for an enjoyable day out with the kids picking your tree.
When: From late November
Where: 9711 Dublin Canyon Rd, Castro Valley, CA
The Jamboree started out as a small family business in the 1960s and has grown to become one of the most popular tree suppliers in the city. The variety of trees should cover every family’s festive season requirements, with a range that includes Douglas Firs, Noble Firs, and Silver Tips, with sizes to suit all budgets. Fireproofing is available, and the site also has two large tents to keep buyers protected from San Francisco’s winter showers.
When: From November 18
Where: 574 Bayshore Blvd, San Francisco, CA
Another seasonal operation with a charitable basis, Delancey Street raises funds to provide residential rehabilitation and vocational training for addicts and ex-offenders. They run several Christmas lots around the city, selling trees from late November, and providing residents with useful sales experience in a festive atmosphere. The tree lots also offer mistletoe, lights, wreaths, water bowls, and flame retardant.
When: From November 24
Where: 2601 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA and locations around the city
San Francisco might not experience the sort of snowy weather that the East Coast endures, but that doesn’t mean Christmas can’t be traditional. The seasonal tree lots that open just after Thanksgiving offer a chance for Californians to get a head start on Christmas and enjoy the romance and tradition of a Christmas tree throughout December.