I know. For the rest of you, it’s been over for at least two weeks. But here in Solvang, the season doesn’t end until we’ve burned all the trees.
Every year the fire department encourages people to throw their Christmas trees on the acreage in front of the Old Mission Santa Ines. Then on the 2nd Friday night in January, close to a thousand of us gather on the lawn to watch our trees burn.
It’s pretty frightening to see how quickly an old Christmas tree can ignite! The firemen always pull out a few to show us how important it is to keep them watered, etc. But that’s not what we’re there to see. We want to feel the scorching heat of a thousand trees burning in our faces.
And believe me, once the trees light up, everyone backs away. The heat is incredible. It feels like you could get a sunburn just watching the flames! Twenty minutes later, the fire dies down and people start walking home, stopping to smile and talk to friends.
It’s a unique way to bring closure to the season. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.