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Go West to Get Your Christmas Tree

There are few things more wholesome than picking out a Christmas tree. Whether you’re heading out to find the perfect tree with your young kids, or with your annoying roommates, the process of picking out a tree, if done correctly, can be the one of the highlights of the holiday season.

With that in mind, it’s important to find the right lot to match the weight of the moment. You don’t want to just go anywhere to get your tree. And believe it or not, one of the most feel-good Christmas tree lots in the city is so far to the west that it’s almost on the beach.

Mountain Mama’s Tree Lot, located at Moraga Street and 48th Avenue, is one block shy of the Great Highway and the sand dunes beyond. On any given day, you can see trucks parked out front with wetsuits hanging out to dry over the sideview mirrors, and delight as kids and dogs chase each other through the rows of trees. As 8 year-old Eloise Burnham said when I visited the lot last weekend, “It feels like Christmas.”

The lot, run by Marty Magnusen, Dan Dufficy, and Alexis Davies, is in its second year of business. It first opened last winter, while Marty was in the off-season as an Ocean Beach lifeguard. He teamed up with his surfing buddy Dan, who works as a landscaper and has connections with tree farms in Oregon.  Marty’s girlfriend Alexis works the register for the lot, under the shed that her dad built, and decorates the wreaths. It’s so wholesome, the only thing they’re missing is puppies.

In fact, they’re not even missing puppies. An integral part of the operation of the lot is the San Francisco SPCA. Marty and Alexis use the lot as a mobile adoption center on the weekends, and also donate a portion of the proceeds to the SPCA to help cover operating costs.

Sure, it’s out of the way…way, way out of the way for some of you. But Mountain Mama’s Lot is a perfect excuse to go sample the other spots in the Outer Sunset that everyone keeps talking about, like the Devil’s Teeth Baking Company and Outerlands. It’s worth making a day out of it. They have bonfires, and kids make and sell cookies and hot chocolate. The longer you stay, the more you feel connected with the dynamic little community out west.

Who knows, you might find yourself agreeing with Eloise that it really does feel like Christmas.