Christmas Eve traditionalists, mid-Decemberists, treecrastinators, we see you
There’s little debate that a real Christmas tree brings joy to everyone who sees and smells it. But when is that joy best timed? Ah, now that’s a debate.
Some people would buy their real Christmas tree the day before Halloween if they could. Some like to wait until the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone before shifting into Santa mode, just out of principle (Give each holiday its due!). Others mean to get started early, but, well, life gets in the way.
And still others embrace the more Victorian tradition of waiting until just a few days before Christmas — or until Christmas Eve itself — to put up their tree.
Real Christmas tree growers, wholesalers and retailers see that mix of shoppers firsthand, and it doesn’t change much from year to year.
“We have several customers who faithfully visit us on Christmas Eve. It is their tradition, and it is our tradition to welcome them each year,” said Mel Koelling, Michigan Christmas tree grower.
“Not everyone is ready to deck the halls right after Thanksgiving. Some of our oldest customers are mid-December shoppers,” said Rob Lambert, California Christmas tree retailer.
“People are busy this time of the year. I am a mom and I completely understand. We are glad to welcome customers throughout the month of December and help them find their perfect real Christmas tree,” said Carrie McClaine, North Carolina Christmas tree grower and Florida retailer.
Where the trees are
“We don’t judge,” said Marsha Gray, executive director of the Real Christmas Tree Board. “We like to say ‘the journey makes the joy.’ But those journeys are very personal. The ‘when’ is as big a part of traditions as the ‘how.’ The good news is, there’s a real Christmas tree for everyone who wants one — whenever they want one.”
That may not mean wherever they want one, however. Gray points out that the bigger the retailer, typically the bigger the inventory, so while late-season shoppers can expect to go home with a real Christmas tree, they may find that some smaller retailers or choose-and-cut farms sell out earlier than larger ones.
“It’s not a matter of whether there are enough trees — there are,” said Gray. “It’s just a matter of where they are.”
Find your joy at RealChristmasTreeBoard.com
The Real Christmas Tree Board encourages late-season shoppers to consider trying a different species this year and to be flexible in where they shop for a real Christmas tree. Trends are changing and sizes and species vary by region and retailer. As Christmas gets closer, some retailers may close early or have a reduced selection while others may have just what you’re looking for.
Real Christmas trees are continuing to bring joy all month long
There’s plenty of real Christmas tree season left and here are the facts you need to know:
- A real Christmas tree brings joy. When asked to choose how they feel when they smell a real Christmas tree, respondents to a nationwide survey chose “Joyful” more than any other emotion. 1
- A real Christmas tree is the favorite scent of the season. Survey-takers ranked the scent of a real Christmas tree as number one and ahead of cookies, cinnamon, hot cocoa, and gingerbread. 1
- The price of a real Christmas tree is worth it and 85% of those who typically have real Christmas trees agreed with that statement. In fact, 79% of real Christmas tree buyers even agreed that “If the cost of a real Christmas tree goes up this year in light of the rising costs of many consumer goods, I will still buy a real Christmas tree.” 1
- Those converting to a real tree wish they’d done so sooner. 78% of those who previously bought an artificial tree, but tried a real one instead in 2021, say they wish they had started buying real sooner.