Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sticker Shock at the Christmas Tree Lot

Christmas Tree Lot in Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic
Christmas Tree Lot in Paso Robles
I was looking for signs of Christmas in Paso Robles Saturday,  and I stopped at this Christmas tree lot across from Rabobank to look around and take pictures. For various reasons, we have not had a Christmas tree in over twenty years. When we  did buy trees, we always bought real ones. It was fun to go to the lot and pick one out.

We had a tree every year since we were married until the year our son, the lover of all things Christmas and chief tree decorator, died in an accident in August, 1991. There's never been much  point to getting a tree since then, since we always celebrate somewhere else now.

Christmas Trees in Lot in Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic
I remember seeing many varieties of pine and fir trees in those lots I used to visit, and some of the trees were flocked -- some even in colors other  than  white. I don't remember seeing trees in some of the shapes I saw today.

I  did see small living Christmas trees like this one. In fact my mom bought one when  she moved here twenty years ago. She planted it in the back yard. We finally had to remove it a few weeks ago. See the story about that below by clicking "One Way to Remove a Large Tree" in the related articles.

Christmas Trees in Lot in Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic
I had never seen any Christmas trees in tiers like the tall one on the right in the photo above. I didn't get a look at its  price tag. I did see the price tag on the large tree in the middle of this photo, though. It is a handsome Noble Fir grown by Hopper Brothers in Woodburn, Oregon. Price? Only $93.99.

It is a beautiful tree, but I did get sticker shock looking at that tag after not pricing Christmas trees in over twenty years. Of course, there were smaller trees and trees not quite so "Noble" that were more affordable. For the first time in my life, though, I understand why some families do opt for artificial trees. The most economical way to get a real Christmas  tree is to grow it yourself -- or get your tree on Christmas  Eve when they are almost half price.

You might try growing your own Christmas tree for next year. One of the books recommended below explains how the growers do it. Lessons from a Christmas Tree Farm by Michael Kurtz, a pastor who grew Christmas trees for twenty years, is a devotional book that can be used for group study.  The picture book, Christmas Farm, is about a five-year-old-boy and a middle-aged woman who plant dozens of balsam seedlings, nurture them, and watch them grow up. And, of course, I've included in my suggestions a kit to help you grow your own living Christmas tree. It might also make a nice gift for someone with a green thumb.