Holiday book captures family spirit


December 29, 2021

Sarah Brown

Melissa Toquero, with baby Solomon in tow, spends a day helping out at West's Tree Farm.

Overcast skies blanketed West's Tree Farm on a weekend earlier this holiday season, and its parking lot off Berlin Road was full.

Melissa Toquero stood near the entrance, pointing new arrivals to open spots.

Her chubby baby, Solomon, sat on her chest in a padded ergonomic backpack-style carrier, facing the world under a crocheted beanie and chewing on a strand of beads.

Somewhere on the farm, her 4-year-old son, Atlas, ran around with his grandmother, carrying two plastic candy canes that were nearly his height. They were his guns, he said.

A whitewashed barn stood just beyond the parkin...

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