ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — If your Christmas decorations are already up, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. The holiday is more than a month away, but many are getting into the spirit of the season early this year. Christmas tree farms are cashing in on the excitement.
Holiday lights and decorations, Christmas trees already adorn many homes throughout West Michigan. Local Christmas tree farmers like Paul Prince of Princes Nursery and Trees says they’ve been busier than normal as people cling to traditions and a sense of normalcy in a time that’s proven to be anything but.
“We have seen it be a little bit busier earlier. I think there is that normalcy that people do. They want part, to get back to that again,” Prince said. “This whole COVID, all of it has been, it’s been unnerving. It started way back in March and now it’s picking up again and that’s different. I’ve never, I don’t know anybody that has experienced that before.”
With changing guidelines, increase in COVID-19 cases and traditions in flux, it can be hard to find cheer in a year like this.
“There is concern and we are concerned,” Prince said. “I have had a kidney transplant and so I need to be, you know, cautious. My mom is 78 years old. We don’t want to bring anything into our family either and everybody is part of a family.”
The love of family and tradition has led Prince to sanitize his saws and provide a naturally, socially distant experience for families looking for a slice of holiday fun outside.
“We were a little bit nervous about having people close together. We’re taking all the precautions we can with hand sanitizer everywhere and keeping some distance between groups,” Prince said. “They’ll walk out, find a tree as a family and they’ll come up. We can shake them, drill them and bail them and send them on their way.”
Prince is a third-generation farmer. He’s prepared trees for loyal customers for as long as he can remember and still loves seeing the joy it brings those who come back faithfully year after year.
“I really do enjoy seeing people smile and interacting with them. It’s the only time of the year that we really do that,” Prince said. “It is Christmas. It’s more about the meaning of Christmas than it is the trees, but we enjoy it. I spend almost all my time out in the field year-round, and it is fun to see people smiling and get to enjoy what we have been working on.”
Unlike some larger scale Christmas tree farms, you won’t find hayrides, hot cocoa or pictures with Santa. It’s memories made the old fashioned way. Just your family, a saw and the open field, working together to find the perfect tree — you cut.
“We’re more of a no frills. Our prices are very reasonable,” Prince said. “It’s more of a you walk out with a 10-acre field here. We have two other farms that we also do you cuts on, it’s pretty simple out here. A lot of it is about the experience. It’s a family thing. It’s very family oriented. It’s almost as much about memories you make here as it is the tree. It really is.”
With Christmas being over a month away, Prince recommends cutting a half-inch up the stump of your tree before bringing it into your home and submerging it into lukewarm tap water in its tree stand as quickly as you can. Be sure to water it frequently too to make sure it stays fresh for the holiday.