The sweet scent of pine wafts in the crisp morning air as customers tour the farm to find the perfect tree. The textured plant that will soon be the centerpiece of the living room offers benefits in every aspect, from the satisfying aroma that encapsulates tradition to green benefits beyond appearance.
Beautifying households with Christmas trees during the winter months is an annual tradition for people in the United States and around the world. Decorative Christmas trees have been a part of the holiday tradition for centuries now, and the attraction to trees has made its way into people’s hearts.
âIn the days of darkness, Europeans would take evergreen foliage and bring these conifers into their homes. These are the first renderings of the tradition we have today, âsaid Doug Hunley, spokesperson for the National Christmas Tree Association.
Humans are naturally drawn to things that are attractive to the eye, it is therefore not surprising that the interest in a luminous pop in the house has persisted. To further satisfy the deadly inclination towards color, various embellishments have been added to the trees over time.
âThe religious came to think that hanging candles and lights on their trees was like hanging stars,â Hunley said.
These stars mentioned by Hunley have evolved into the ornaments found on today’s Christmas trees, although to a different degree. With the development of time, technological advances have made it possible to use artificial lights to replace the ancient tradition of hanging candles. Non-religious people then celebrated with their version of a lavish tree, and the reasons for having a decorated tree were secularized. Christmas trees quickly became iconic visuals depicting the joyful human spirit, a symbol well received by the general public.
âLarge convention centers, hotels, banks and even large financial institutions will set up a 20 or 30 foot tree in their lobby. It’s just a way to decorate for the holidays, and it’s nice to fill the great outdoors with a tree, âHunley said.
An example of an iconic Christmas tree is the Rockafeller Christmas tree in New York City, a classic icon that Americans across the country embrace today. As an important visual, the tree attracts many visits during the holiday season by locals and tourists.
“Usually someone suggests going on a school trip, or I go with my friends to see [the tree]. The neighborhood is really crowded during the holiday season, âsaid Eden Kaplan, a high school student living in New York City.
Besides the iconic commercial trees that show how cherished Christmas trees are in society, families still nurture traditions locally with their trees.
âThe vibe of having a real Christmas tree really authenticates the whole Christmas tradition since we don’t have snow here,â said Elisa Luo Wimmer, sophomore at Carlmont High School.
The holiday spirit is brought to the fore in real Christmas tree farms such as Santa Claus Tree Farm, located in Half Moon Bay. Since 1972, the farm has been of service to the community and has helped create the spirit of celebration with countless customers returning each year.
âIt’s a lot busier now than it was when he started in the seventies. We get more customers every year and we’ve grown the land over time, âsaid Natalie Sare, co-owner of Santas Tree Farm.
In addition to providing real trees to the public, the farm includes a village filled with other activities and experiences that further enhance the sense of community among visitors.
âThese activities are agricultural accessories. In addition to harvesting trees, there are other things to do here that cater to families and children, âSare said.
Santa tours, free puppet shows, and children’s parties are all popular on-farm activities that align with the holiday spirit theme.
A big reason people are drawn to real Christmas trees is the symbolic essence behind the tree. The meaning of the tree seems different to each person; some see it as a representation of lights while others see it as a symbol of family spirit.
âIt’s an important cultural tradition. Young adults are supportive of it and they want to pass this tradition on once they start having children and raising their own children, âHunley said.
Although artificial Christmas trees were invented for convenience, many still choose to buy a real Christmas tree. Whether it’s the aromatic essence or the feeling of visiting a farm, many customers still appreciate the long tradition of having a real Christmas tree.
âThe smell of the tree as well as being able to take care of it by giving it water every week is such a pleasant feeling and it brings me a feeling of joy,â said Luo Wimmer.
Besides the alluring appeal and the sense of tradition, Christmas trees have the advantage of being just as environmentally friendly as artificial trees.
“[Farmers] don’t disturb the field of Christmas trees and let the trees grow, and we never trace the ground, so it remains natural. We also minimize the use of pesticides, âHunley said.
In addition to the chemical-free benefits, real trees are composted and reused at the end of the season. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are more than 4,000 local Christmas tree recycling programs in the United States, making the factory an eco-friendly tradition in which consumers can participate.
âThere are no downsides to real Christmas trees. It spreads the holiday spirit, and it’s honestly a beautiful tradition that we all have, âsaid Hunley.