Tradition Keeps Christmas Tree Sales Going Strong

Tradition Keeps Christmas Tree Sales Going Strong
By: CJ Cassidy

JACKSON, Mo. - The cold, dreary weather didn't stop people from heading out to choose Christmas trees this weekend.
But is the tough economy having an impact on Heartland tree farms this year?  Local sellers say they are not seeing much of a difference.
The Jemison family did something new this year.  They put up a real Christmas tree.
"I've been wanting to do this for years!" Chris Jemison said.
His 12-year-old daughter, Hannah, is very excited, but she's not yet sold on the tree's smell.
"It smells like shaving cream!" she said.
Before the Jemison's began decorating, they bundled up and headed out to Meier Horse Shoe Pines in Jackson to pick out their tree.
A horse drawn sleigh whisks them off to the tree farm, and then the Jemisons scatter in search of the perfect pine.
Teresa Meier and her family own the farm.  She says at first, they worried about sales dwindling as a result of the tough economy.
But Meier soon realized going green appears to be one tradition folks in southeast Missouri like the Jemisons are willing to spend some green on.
"A lot of people want to be environmentally friendly," Meier said.
Of course the extra Christmas cheer gives customers some extra bang for their buck as well.
"A lot of families will pick out a tree and then get an ornament, we personalize ornaments.  It's all part of an important tradition," Meier said.
Chris Jemison plans on heading back to the Meier tree farm next year.  He hopes this is the start of a beautiful tradition.
"I'd love to go pick out a tree every year and take a horse ride and have fun together!" he said.
Tree sellers say another advantage to having a real tree, you can always cut it up as mulch after you take it down, or put it up in your backyard as a bird feeder to enjoy it longer.