There is nothing that can suck the joy out of the holiday season quite like searching for a Christmas tree in the pouring rain with a small child and a husband who would rather be, well, doing anything short of reorganizing closets than slogging around a tree farm.
But, hark! The herald angels really do sing this time of year, and they are warbling at Carroll’s Tree Farm, located at 3980 Princeton Pike in Lawrenceville (609.430.9638). When I arrived, the place was chock full of the most gorgeous trees as far as my damp eyes could see: blue-green Frasers, majestic Douglases, fragrant Balsams. Within minutes of coming face to branch with the tree destined to be our own, two strapping young lads were at my side, and with a wink of my eye and a twist of my head, the tree was cut, bagged, and on its way to the roof of my hybrid.
I stepped inside a charming barn to pay, and found what could only be a satellite team of Santa’s elves hard at work making all manner of wreaths and other fabulous seasonal ephemera. Despite the rain, they sang along to the Christmas songs that were being piped into the barn, and happily offered each customer a cup of steaming apple cider. After purchasing the tree and a wreath the size of a reindeer-drawn sleigh, I left with my spirits high and my pockets still lined with enough cash to buy a bag of bagels and a couple of coffees at Maidenhead up the street.
Jennifer Henderson is a freelance writer who has worked for several magazines, including Vanity Fair, Talk, W, and New Jersey Life. She lives in Princeton with her husband, daughter, and chocolate Labrador.