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Shoppers take advantage of nice weather to purchase Christmas trees

November 24, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Mount Aetna Volunteer Fire Department is selling live trees this holiday season from their lot on Mapleville Road south of the Mount Aetna Road circle.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

While malls and shopping centers were jammed with Black Friday shoppers, the Greensburg Farm Market on Virginia Avenue was doing a brisk business in Christmas trees, wreathes and garland.

“It’s a nice day, we usually get our tree right after Thanksgiving and my son was here to help me, so I took advantage of the situation,” said Shelley Sachariah of Hagerstown. “And they always have a good selection of the trees I like, Frazier firs,” she said.

Buying a Christmas tree at Greensburg Farm Market is a tradition for Bill Martin of Hagerstown, who was accompanied by his wife and son. The trees are always fresh at the market and last six weeks to two months, he said.

It was the only in-person, hands-on shopping they had planned for the day, Martin said.

“It’s simple. You can buy anything online. It’s cheaper. It’s easier. There’s free shipping right to your house,” Martin said.

“We did it one year where a lady snatched something from my hand and slapped me on the hand,” Martin said of Black Friday shopping.

“That was enough for me,” he added.

The Greensburg Farm Market burned down in March 2011 and reopened in November of last year, owner Mary Stagner said. The burned rubble of the shop was still there last fall, but a new building is up and customers were plentiful on Friday.

Despite the fire, most of her regular customers had returned, Stagner said. Sixteen or more trees had left the lot by about noon, she said, and other customers were buying wreaths and garlands.

A few miles away, Maureen Springer of Smithsburg and her daughter, Melissa, were picking out a concolor, or white, fir at the Mount Aetna Volunteer Fire Department tree stand on Mapleville Road south of the Mount Aetna Road circle.

Melissa lives near Reading, Pa., now, so it was an opportunity for them to pick out a tree together, she said.

“Cut the bottom off the stump and keep it watered,” Maureen Springer said when asked how she will keep the tree fresh through the holidays.

The first customer showed up at 9:57 a.m., three minutes before the stand opened, said Randy Young, the vice president of the fire department. The tree sale, which runs through Dec. 23, is the department’s biggest fund-raiser of the year, bringing in a $2,000 profit last year, he said.

Five trees were sold in the first hour, which Young credited to the good weather Friday and predictions of deteriorating conditions over the weekend.

The trees are fresh-cut from Breezewood, Pa., and supplies will be replenished regularly over the coming weeks, Young said.

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