Sunday November 27, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated November 28, 2022]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
The Happy Holidays Christmas Tree Company is back in seasonal action at the Luxton Fairgrounds parking lot in Langford.
Over 750 trees have already arrived, for their soft opening this weekend. They continue to be open daily through to December 18. Another tree shipment of 500 trees will arrive around December 2.
Prices up this year:
Like most other things in the past year, the price of the trees has gone up. Shipping costs are part of it. Most of the current inventory (500 trees) was shipped from a tree farm in Terrace (on cut land leased from BC Hydro) along with road side rescues (about 250 of those) from the Cultus Lake area.
Douglas fir are a good bargain, and the other species are a bit more. When trees are over 10 ft in height, the shipping costs “skyrocket for the really big trees”, said Nick Zethof, in his third year as an employee with the pop-up Christmas tree business.
Box stores apparently carry trees up to 8 ft in height. “We’re kind of the only game in town (for the larger trees)”, said Zethof.
Road side rescues:
Road side rescues are cut from within 10 ft of the road to save it from being mulched to have passage for heavy equipment.
“We get to have them here as Christmas trees instead. It’s a good carbon capture recycling program,” said Nick Zethof.
Douglas fir and Alpine:
“We have Douglas Firs, which is your standard tree — everyone’s got them,” said Zethof, referring to larger retailers. The attractive Grand firs have a lovely scent, he says.
The rescue trees this year are all Alpine fir which are similar to spruce, with tiny needles and very good water retention. Also selling Nordman fir.
In the tent-covered gift shop there are products from some repeat vendors and some new vendors.
There is no ‘fudge lady’ this year, she has moved to Nova Scotia.
Displays offer clothes, dog treats, candles, schrunchies, jerky, heating pads, and lots of things made of wood. Smoked meats, cheeses and tofu are also popular.
All items in the gift shop are sold on consignment.
JDF Search and Rescue:
Table rental fees at the indoor market are being donated to Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue (JDF SAR); the rescue team helps out at the tree lot.
All sales proceeds from JDF SAR items sold at the market (including toques, socks and dog leashes and toys made from rescue ropes) go to supporting JDF SAR which provides emergency response at any time to find people who are lost in the wilderness or urban areas.
Vouchers for the JDF SAR tree chipping and bottle drive event (January 7 at Slegg lumber) are being sold.
In previous years donations have gone to the Goldstream Food Bank.
Hours of operation:
Hours of operation at Happy Holidays Christmas Tree Co are from Mon-Thurs 4 to 8 pm, Fri 3 to 8 pm, and 10 am to 8 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
The location is 1040 Marwood Avenue in Langford (plenty of parking in the Luxton Fairgrounds unpaved parking lot).
The seasonal pop-up tree sale business is co-owned by husband and wife team Kyle and Debbie Stroshein, who are both teachers.
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Fully online since mid-2020, Island Social Trends emerged from the extensive regional groundwork of previous print publications in the west shore: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).
Since 2008, journalist and editor Mary P Brooke has taken a socioeconomic lens to the news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island region, including BC provincial news, and national news impacts.
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