People turning to Christmas trees to brighten a dim 2020

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — This time of the year, you can find the Spillmans working hard on their Christmas tree farm, getting everything just right for the big day.

“We have too much shearing, spraying, and planting,” said Beverly Spillman.

Plus, you have to be ready to answer the phone that is ringing all the time.

“If you get a call in late October, first of November, it’s more of ‘What is your open date? What are your hours?’ Those are your common ones,” said Spillman.

Now, the questions from Christmas tree shoppers are a bit unusual.

“This year, everybody is like ‘Are you open? We want to come out and get a tree,'” said Spillman.

Spillman’s Christmas Tree Farm doesn’t open until the day after Thanksgiving, but they understand why people want a little bit of Christmas. With the global pandemic and other challenging events, 2020 is proving to be a depressing year.

“Why not get your tree out, get your lights out, get a smile on someone’s face and some Christmas music,” said Spillman. “It is the time of year to be cheerful.”

Running a Christmas tree farm takes a lot of energy and patience. The reward comes when the gates open. Looking toward a perfectly shaped Leyland cypress tree, Spillman adds:

“This is somebody’s tree. It has a name on it. Someone will love it. They will cut it down and take it home. The joy of that is what I look forward to each year.”

Spillman’s Christmas Tree Farm in Sophia opens the day after Thanksgiving at 10 a.m.

If you need Christmas cheer sooner, some farms will open as soon as Friday, Nov. 20.

The Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market should have Christmas trees the day before Thanksgiving.

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