Sunday December 12, 2021 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated December 13, 2021]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
The availability of natural trees for use as Christmas trees during the 2021 holiday season of course was impacted by the flooding in the BC Fraser Valley area in November.
Local Christmas-tree sellers who normally sourced their trees from a grower on the Saanich Peninsula were forced to find another supplier after the owner of that long-time provider passed away two years ago.
In 2020, due to COVID, there was no tree-selling venture.
Moving ahead during COVID:
Now in December 2021, educator and entrepreneur Debbie Stroshein is selling trees from a pop-up retail spot in Langford, calling their venture Happy Holidays Christmas Tree Co.
Operations manager Nick Zethof explains that their tree supplier this year is on the mainland northwest of BC, in the Terrace area.
Adaptations to COVID include the setup being entirely outdoors on the grounds of the Luxton Community Hall on Marwood Avenue in the Happy Valley area of Langford. The trees are outdoors, the crafts and retail checkout are under tents. All staff wear masks. Dress for the weather!
Adaptations this year also included opening later in the season than usual, as tree shipments were delayed due to traffic slowdowns for trucks getting to the Vancouver lower mainland, and then onto ferries.
Trees & crafts:
You may remember Debbie from her volunteer fundraising operation of a similar style (trees and crafts) that she ran at the SD62 Westshore Centre for Training on Sooke Road in Colwood for several years in a row (including selling 723 trees at their 2018 sale).
This year on the outdoor grounds (including on rainy days!) there are several tree varieties to choose from. As of Sunday December 12 about 150 trees were still in inventory.
Tree heights range from 3 ft to 12 ft, offering a range of indoor decorating options.
Under the tents shoppers will find a selection of handmade crafts and treats.
Local high school students have a chance to learn transferable skills by helping out at the little pop-up market. They handle tree delivery, customer service, and aspects of bookkeeping.
Skills learned on this seasonal job include teamwork and interpersonal confidence.
Stroshein says she creates a trusting and caring working environment.
With urban development all around, it’s a nice visual and lifestyle relief to see a lot full of trees. The rustic signage and the cheerful colourful Christmas lighting is a welcome addition to the ambiance of the holiday season in the local neighbourhood.
Many Langford neighbourhoods are dressing up their home exteriors with various type of light displays.
Again this year, enough households are choosing a fresh-cut tree as part of their indoor Christmas decor, which of course helps support businesses like Happy Holidays Christmas Tree Co.
The little tree-selling venture has caught local attention. Management expects demand is expected to be strong again next year.
Hours of operation:
The tree lot at 1040 Marwood Avenue is open Monday to Thursday from 4 to 8 pm, Fridays from 3 to 8 pm, and on weekends 10 am to 8 pm.
Open to December 19, or while supplies last.