Artificial Christmas Tree – Some people haul their artificial tree out of a closet when Christmas is near. Some buy a cut one from a Boy Scout lot, grocery store or elsewhere in town. However, genuine farms in Tennessee are luring a growing clientele with nostalgia and free hot chocolate.
The farms aren’t increasing in number in the state, but the people venturing out into the country to select their own trees are on the rise, said Dan Strasser, director of market development with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
The trade is piggybacking on the “buy local” movement that promotes purchasing vegetables, meats, cheeses and other food nearby. The nostalgia factor is a big part of the interest in cutting one’s own tree, whether it’s a past memory or not.
“Some families have never had that opportunity,” Strasser said. “They grew up with artificial trees. This gives them a chance to have a new family experience. Others have done it all their lives.”
Brenda Maraia from Southern California, who is visiting family in Williamson County, said it was the first time they had cut down their own tree.
“I think it’s awesome,” she said. “It’s a chance to seize the moment with your family.”
Business at Christmas tree farms had fallen several years ago, according to Art Landrigan, president of the Tennessee Christmas Tree Growers Association. “Ever since 9/11 it’s been going up again,” he said.
“People are spending more time with families and children, doing things they used to do many years ago. This is where Christmas tree selection becomes a family memory,” he added.