As a kid going to the forest and selecting a tree to bring home was an important part of the Christmas season. We have forests nearby, so my intentions were to write “In Our Backyard” column about cutting your own Christmas tree in the local forest.
I called the Spanish Fork U.S. Forest Service office and was told tree cutting permits were all sold out. I guess I better get started earlier next year.
That left me searching for something new and different than going to a shopping mall corner Christmas tree lot. Doing a little internet searching I came across Peterson Christmas Trees in Elk Ridge. It is a seasonal business operated out of their large back yard. The customer review comments report a feeling at home surrounded by the spirt of Christmas.
A few hours before they opened on Nov. 23, I visited the Peterson’s back yard. It is decorated in the tradition, with opportunities for family photos. They do have a large back yard with 400 fresh cut trees organized by three types, White Fir, Black Balsam, and Pinion Pine.
Trees are available in sizes from table-top to a twenty-foot tree. In the evening they have a warm fire to add to the spirt of the season, along with the traditional Christmas lights. On a tall pole on the northeast corner of the Christmas tree yard has is a star of Bethlehem which will be illuminated on Christmas eve to remind us what this time of year is about. This is a Christian family sharing the spirt of Christmas and it shows, it is not your neighborhood Christmas tree lot. The Peterson’s do this because they love doing it.
This is their seventh year in the Christmas tree business and last year they sold 800 trees.
This is a wonderful alternative to going to the forest and cutting down your own tree. And Peterson’s is close to home.
Now, the question of “why do we have a tradition of Christmas trees?” The fact that some trees remain green in the winter had special significance to ancient cultures as a symbol of everlasting life.
Modern Christmas trees were first seen in 16th-century Germany associated with the Christian Renaissance. German immigrants brought the tradition to North America as early as 1747, although the first recorded display was in Pennsylvania in the 1830s. Adopting to the Christmas trees tradition was slow in North America until the 1890’s. Now it seems like every household has a Christmas tree. It has certainly added to our experience and memories.
As an added point of trivia, it is estimated that 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold every year and close to 350 million trees are being grown on close to 15,000 tree farms. (Helmick is a Serve Daily contributor.)