the air smells like Christmas

We arrived at our destination late and hungry. I lost my keys in my purse. We tore through the apartment to find them, and there they were in a place we checked dozens of times.

As we stepped out of the car though, we were greeted by the beautifully nostalgic smell of Christmas.

The men were in heavy duty jackets and snow pants, but they were unloading the precious cargo with care. The trees had arrived.

We left the biting night and slipped into the restaurant. Those smells were quickly replaced with the warmth of food. The trees were forgotten as my sister and I dove into a foodie frenzy.

Outside, the work continued.

When we emerged hours later, the trees seemed to have doubled. The wind had spread the pine smell. I stopped to take a picture and was greeted by an older man, bundled.

“It smells like Christmas,” I said.

“Do you want to buy a tree?” he asked.

“I can’t have them in my apartment, otherwise I would,” I said.

“We have small ones,” he said.

Then he called over the younger guys.

Sensing that I was engaging in yet another lengthy conversation with strangers, my sister sought refuge in the car for warmth.

“She wants to buy a tree,” he said.

I hesitated, and the man politely told me they were just setting up and not ready to sell.

The older man disappeared, while the other two told me they would open on Black Friday. They asked if I lived in the area and would come back.

“Do people line up at 3 a.m. on Black Friday for your trees?” I playfully asked.

“No!” he laughed. “I’ll be sleeping. No lines.”

Then older man suddenly appearing holding a smaller tree.

“This one,” he said, smiling. “She wants to buy this one.”

“It’s beautiful,” I said in awe but also slightly uncomfortable I would have to walk away.

His face radiated with pride. The farmer and his crop were almost glowing in the moment.

The farmer would have tied it to my car had the others not stopped him.

“I’ll come back,” I said, taking one last deep breath of the air.

“Thank you,” I smiled and turned away.

The farmers waved goodbye as we left behind the smell of pine. The magic of the farmers market didn’t fade.