‘It will be the family day out’ - Christmas tree farm gears up for rush
PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 October 2020
The festive season is starting early in Norfolk, with decorations going up and a Christmas tree farm gearing up for demand sooner than usual.
With the nation feeling gloomy at the prospect of a socially distanced festive season, some are reaching for the tinsel two months early and photos of people’s homes decorated for Christmas - even before Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night - are being posted online.
In Norwich, John Lewis opened its Christmas shop at the end of last month, with Richard Marks saying it was “a bit of sparkle to brighten up your lives”.
Also in the city, the annual pop-up charity Christmas card shop is opening early this year, due to launch for its 55th outing next week at a new venue, the St Peter Mancroft Church.
Even firms selling real Christmas trees are gearing up for early sales. At Salle Farm, near Reepham, which has 34 hectares for growing Christmas trees, manager Tom Barwick said trees were being supplied for retailers as early as November 2. The shop won’t open to the public until November 28.
“I wouldn’t want our trees going out to people for use in their homes earlier than November 28 unless you want a carpet full of needles for Christmas Day,” he said. “People always used to buy trees just a few days before Christmas but now it’s often at the beginning of December.
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“We don’t recommend having a real tree in a house for longer than around four weeks before Christmas because of the temperature of most people’s homes.
“I do think people may want trees earlier this year and the ones we are supplying to retailers are for outside displays. It’s a tradition to come and choose your tree and we think we will be very busy in the two middle weekends of December, it will be bedlam, we will do half our entire trade in those four days. With pantomimes not being on, it’s going to be the family day out.”
He said they were going to ask people to wear masks, despite it being outside, and would be setting up a one-way system.
On Twitter, photos were posted of homes already decorated for Christmas. One tweeted: “So my family has put up the Christmas tree in October, anything goes in 2020, I suppose.”
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