Tuesday, December 22, 2020
From the New York Times:
When Allison Protsko was a child, the arrival of the Christmas season meant driving with her family to pick out a Christmas tree, cutting it down themselves and dragging it home.
This year, about a decade since Ms. Protsko, 34, last brought a real Christmas tree into her home, she decided to go with her children and her boyfriend, Joseph Storminger, to Bell’s Christmas Trees in Accord, N.Y., reviving a cherished family tradition.
“Just the smell from the tree brings back that Christmas feeling and the memories from childhood,” Ms. Protsko said.
The stress of 2020, including an out-of-control pandemic, protests against racial injustice and a bitterly contested presidential election, left many Americans like Ms. Protsko grasping for scraps of joy wherever they could be found. The holidays offered an outlet.
As demand has surged, some pick-and-cut tree farms, like Bell’s, have sold out their supplies of Christmas trees for the first time ever. Elsewhere, retail lots have been picked clean as families have bought their first fresh Christmas trees, or their first ones in a very long time.
Bell’s Christmas Trees, about 100 miles north of New York City, has dedicated about 25 of its 150 acres to the nurturing of a dozen varieties of Christmas trees. The Bell family started planting trees in 1991 as they were planning to pivot away from the strenuous dairy business that had been the farm’s focus for decades.
The Christmas trees proved more popular than expected, so they planted more every year. This year, their supply sold out. Bell’s announced that it would close for the season on Dec. 8, 15 days earlier than last year, to preserve the smaller, less mature trees that the farm was counting on selling next year and in the years to come. “We can’t grow them fast enough,” Mr. Bell said.
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