Record Christmas tree sales and the basics of life

December 24, 2020

Fred and Shelly Sposato have been growing and selling Christmas trees at their Pine Hollow Christmas Tree Farm for 30 years. But none of those years has been any better than the 2020 season that just ended. “It’s been the best year we’ve ever had,” said Fred. “And it’s been a lot of fun. Everyone I’ve talked to who is selling trees has done well this year.”

Fred doesn’t know whether it’s the coronavirus or just the fact that there are more people living in this area now. But given all the things that people haven’t been able to do because of the virus, there’s little doubt that pent-up demand for doing things they can do that relate to centuries-old traditions like Christmas and its message of love is very strong this year.

“Maybe it comes down to people wanting to get back to the basics,” said Fred.

Wandering around outside among acres of classic Christmas trees in the cold of late December, breathing in the clean oxygen the trees give off as their own celebration of life, can’t help but lift the spirits. And now that the solstice is behind us and people are starting to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, the light at the end of the tunnel we’re feeling is more than just the days beginning to lengthen again.

Illuminating conversations

In a High’s convenience store, I overheard a clerk asking a customer whether he had a rewards card.

“No,” he said. “What do I get if I get one? Does it save me money or anything like that?”

“It can get you discounts over time. Notifications get sent to your smartphone. Do you have a smartphone?” asked the cashier.

“It’s a smartphone but not real smart,” said the customer. “Just about a sixth-grade education, I’d say.”

In the grocery store down the road, the cashier waved her wand to tally up my items, pushed a few buttons, and then waited for the total to come up.

“Is it slow today?” I asked.

“It’s just the way it is here,” she said. “But the kids are in school today.”

“Does that make a difference?”

“Oh yeah,” she said. “Virtual learning really slows down the internet down.”

Highway public art

On the road between Easton and St.Michael’s on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, there now stands one of the most clever and arresting displays of contemporary and timely public art that I’ve ever seen.

It’s in the same spirit as the pole people on Route 9 between Lewes and Harbeson that change with the seasons and the holidays. Only this one is far more elaborate. My understanding is that the creators change the public art on this site with some regularity.   

The photograph included with this column says it all. The scene captures the indomitable spirit of people determined to overcome hurdles, and combines it with the love and joy of the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas to all! 

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