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Go To Valley View Farms and Window Shop

As a child, part of my family’s holiday tradition was to wake up early on a Saturday in December and head to Hunt Valley and browse their substantial Christmas tree decorations and nutcrackers and decorated trees. See, for the holidays, the garden center and nursery displays a whole bunch of Christmas trees stocked with ornaments that you can buy and it includes a number of themed trees (a Baltimore Ravens tree, for example) and if you stroll around and try and see everything, it’s a three-hour or so event. Later on, I realized this is a very strange and kind of depressing tradition of walking through a store that sells Christmas crap as if it were Hershey Park or something, and it was no doubt the result of my family being pretty fucking poor when I was a kid. But then, a few years ago, on a Sunday, I drove over there with a friend and walked around for 45 minutes and looked at the trees and all the Christmas excess and had a pretty good time still. It’s a good (enough) time especially given that it didn’t cost anything. 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Valley View Farms, 11035 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-0700, valleyviewfarms.com, free. (Brandon Soderberg)

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