Warm weather brings out Christmas tree shoppers

WILDWOOD, MO - With temperatures expected to hit near 70 degrees Sunday, St. Louisans may not be dreaming of a white Christmas just yet. However, the trees have been cut and delivered, and the Living Word Church tree lot is now open.

Tim Polles with the Living Word Men’s Club said they are selling a variety of trees including Balsam fir, Fraser fir and Scotch pine. Selling Christmas trees is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the men’s club, according to Polles, which helps to support the church, scholarships and mission’s trips to Mexico and Ghana.

The club’s other big fundraiser each year is a golf tournament in the summer, which may actually be a popular activity today thanks to the forecast.

“If you’re going to the golf course now, maybe on the way back home you can stop and buy a Christmas tree,” said Men's Club Member Ray Cleve.

Despite the warmer than normal temperatures, church members said they are ready to get into the Christmas spirit.

“It’s my favorite time of year," said Nancy Colella. "I just love the lights.”

Kelly Vincent and her family were looking for a tall, healthy tree with a lot of surface area to cover. The Vincent family decorates their tree with lights, garland and a collection of ornaments they proudly display.

"We kind of look at the branches to make sure they’re going to stay healthy, and they’re going to hold up some of our ornaments that we have – some that our kids have made through the years, and then we have some that we’ve purchased," she said. "We have a tradition that we get an ornament from every place that we visited.”

A fresh cut tree needs fresh water often to prevent it from drying out before the holidays have come and gone. Fresh trees also tend to shed their needles which requires a little more cleanup, but Polles said there's no replacement for the real thing.

“Nostalgia, if you will," he said. "Go back to the old days of the smells in the tree, and smell that pine walking in. Of course, the cleanup, that’s part of it, but it brings back yesterday, and we all like to go back and melancholy this time of the year.”

The Living Word Church tree lot is open Tuesday through Friday, 2-7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.