The Bourdet’s Christmas Tree Farm in Hollister has been a busy spot for the past couple of weeks as holiday enthusiasts are looking for the perfect tree for their home or office.
Normally the second weekend of December is the biggest weekend for tree hunting, but longtime owner John Bourdet said the opening weekend was just as eventful. He mentioned that it’s been busier than usual as people have been steadily showing up to buy trees and flocking them, giving it the effect of a Christmas tree with snow indoors.
“This year hasn’t been a real pleasant year and there’s a lot of people stuck at home,” he said. “A lot of people are not traveling and they want something happy to put in their house. There’s nothing more beautiful than a Christmas tree to lift the spirit and enjoy the holiday.”
One of the best features at Bourdet’s Tree Farm at 1271 Los Viboras Road is that guests get to choose and cut their own trees. Varieties include local species such as Monterey Pine, Leyland Cypress and Monterey Cypress.
Bourdet said one of the toughest requests he receives is someone asking him to pick out a Christmas tree and deliver it to them, which makes it tough for him because he knows that everyone has a different taste.
“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,” he said.
They also offer fresh cut Oregon trees including Noble Fir, Douglas Fir, Grand Fir and Silver tip that run from two to 14 feet. Bourdet said they have a variety of trees ready to go, but people want that experience of cutting down their own.
“Oregon trees are pretty well depleted all over the state and all the lots,” he said. “They’re not gone, but they’re way down in numbers and as far as I can tell it’s hard to find anymore.”
The American Christmas Tree Association conducted a survey and revealed that nearly 96 million U.S. households, or 75 percent, displayed a Christmas tree in 2019. Of those, 81 percent were artificial and 19 percent were real.
Jami Warner, executive director of ACTA, mentioned that households displaying more than one Christmas tree increased by 10 percent over the last five years.
“This is a strong indicator that the Christmas tree has become much more than the centerpiece of the holiday, it’s an integral part of the holiday landscape that reaches beyond the living room,” she said.
The ACTA also reported that studies show decorating early has mental health benefits, according to Dr. Marcus De Carvalho of HPR Treatment Centers.
“What [the studies] found is that just by celebrating holidays early, we actually improve our mood,” he said. “It invokes good feelings from the past.”
Carvalho also mentioned that the holiday season can help with depression by helping others or just by getting out of the house to enjoy the festivities.
“If you think about it, during the holidays, what do we do?” Dr. Carvalho said. “We want to go to places and we want to see people’s lights. When we do that, it strengthens our communities and improves our mood.”
Santa Claus was not able to make it this year due to concerns with Covid-19. Bourdet mentioned that they made the call not to open the playground and petting zoo, but they still offer a sleigh ride.
They’ve been taking every precaution to make sure the rails on the sleigh ride are wiped down and that people are spaced apart the best they can. They added an additional checkout station for minimal congestion.
“It’s wonderful,” he said. “They can take a lot of stuff away from us, but they can’t take Christmas away from us.”
Visit https://bourdetschristmastrees.com/ for more information.