O Christmas Tree

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Christmas tree farm in Iowa.

About 45 minutes north of Birmingham on I-65 is Pine Hills Farms. It’s ten acres of nothing but Christmas trees and a few reindeer thrown in for good measure. And one Saturday before Christmas it’s swarming with people looking for the perfect tree.

Carlene Walker: “I am part owner of Pine Hill Farms, Christmas tree farm. We have been in business for 14 years. I think we have about seven different types of trees. We raise LeeLand Cyprus, Carolina Sapphire, Blue Ice, Diadora, White Pine and then we bring in Fraiser Firs from North Carolina.”

Barbara Rucker: “I like the ones that are, where the branches are spaced so that my ornaments can hang rather than lay against the needles.”

Terry McCombs: “Well we generally have to settle that as a family discussion. I like the LeeLand Cyprus and my wife leans towards pines more. So, sometimes we end up making a decision that I want, sometimes she wins out. We come here every year for the last twelve years, at least, for our tree.”

Rucker: “The kids are all excited, they have Santa Claus with the trailer that they take the kids in. It’s just great, it’s like Christmas.”

Amber Michelle Thomas: “I think it’s a really lovely place.”

Ray Bruner: “Came out with the grandkids to look for a Christmas tree.”

Brad Christopher Thomas: “They’re lots of fun to decorate.”

Beth Campbell: “We came out to the farm for our boys to see the reindeer that’s out here. This is his first year [young son’s], so we don’t do it every year, but, you know, try to hit it once or twice while they’re still little.”

McCombs: “Well, you’ve got to have the just perfect tree depending on the space you have available this particular year, or what type of family plannings that you’re having. Just like the idea of cutting our own trees and the festive atmosphere.”

McCombs’ wife: (While hunting for tree.) “There’s always a bald spot.” {Laughter}

McCombs: “I mostly just get frustrated and then tell everybody how to do it and let them take control.”

Bruner: “I think if the children thinks it’s pretty, then that’s the one you ought to get. That’s what makes ‘em pretty to me.”

Fun Christmas Tree Facts

  • Bringing evergreens inside to celebrate the winter solstice is a practice predating Christ’s birth.
  • Because they never lose their leaves, evergreens are symbolic of life in many ancient traditions.
  • Growing Christmas trees provides a habitat for wildlife.
  • Christmas trees grow in all 50 states.
  • Franklin Pierce was the first president to put up a Christmas tree in the White House back in 1856.
  • Christmas trees didn’t become popular in Norway until around 1900.
  • Legend has it that German religious figure Martin Luther was walking in the forest one winter evening when he noticed the stars shining through the branches of the trees. He loved the sight so much he wanted to share the image with others. So, he cut down an evergreen, brought it inside and attached little candles to its branches to mimic the effect.