Archive - Dec 12, 2009

Holiday Traditions

Last weekend, Fiona and I drove over to the local cider mill to get cider for the final batch of hard cider we’re making this year. We stopped at the brewing shop to pick up the yeast we wanted to use. I had been thinking about one of Wyeast’s red wine yeasts for this batch, perhaps a zinfandel or rudsheimer yeast. However the shop didn’t have any of Wyeast’s wine yeasts, so we went with Red Star’s Red Pasteur yeast instead. If this goes well, we might make a tradition of using a red wine yeast for our final batch of hard cider for the year.

On the way over, we participated in an old family tradition. It all started many years ago when my eldest daughters were still little. On a fine December weekend, we would drive to a local Christmas tree farm, to climb the hills and search for the perfect Christmas Tree. We would always search for a Balsam tree; inspired in part by the book, The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story which was a story I always enjoyed reading to my daughters.

To keep the girls occupied during the drive to pick out the Christmas tree, we would count the number of Christmas trees on the tops of cars we saw along the way. This has become a family tradition, counting the number of trees on top of cars, now not only on our trip to the tree farm, but during the whole season. Kim saw the first tree on top of a car this year shortly before Thanksgiving, and we slowly counted the trees.

However, our trip last weekend to get the cider took us past Jones Family Farm, a popular Connecticut Christmas Tree destination. With Fiona joining in with the counting, we rapidly shot up to 132 trees sighted so far this year.

Later today, we’ll probably head over to Alpaca Hill Farm. Every holiday season, they open the farm up on the weekends to sell various items made from alpaca fur, and our trip to that farm has become A New Christmas Tradition.

Last night, I received an email from Eileen and Tom Warner, who run the farm, letting us know that this year, their open farm days will be December 12th, 19th, and 26th from 10 AM to 5 PM. So, soon, we will get ourselves together and get on the road to see what sort of alpaca stocking stuffers we’ll pick up this year and may be count a few Christmas Trees on top of cars along the way.

What about you? Are you doing anything special? Do you have your own holiday traditions or places that you recommend visiting during the holidays?

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