MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Black Friday may help kick off holiday shopping, but for many it's also the time to go get a Christmas tree, and one local tree farm is now officially open for business.
"A lot of people have their family tradition of going out right after Thanksgiving and getting their family tree," says George Meister, owner of Meister's Christmas Tree Farm.
So every year, Meister's Christmas Tree Farm opens the day after Thanksgiving for those families who want to continue that tradition. "Growing up my family always went the weekend after Thanksgiving to pick up a tree. We just moved back to Marquette in June, and we thought we'd continue my family tradition and come out and get a tree this weekend so we could decorate it and it could be up for a few weeks. This is the first time our daughter could really go out and get the Christmas tree so we're really excited and it's super special this year," says a customer of Meister's Christmas Tree Farm.
While it may be Black Friday, picking out a fir, spruce, or pine tree is about the special experience, not the price tag.
"When you come out and cut your own tree or go with the family and select it off the stand, you're all kind of invested in it, and it's part of your Christmas experience. You put it in your house and it's something you did together, and it's a lot more personal than unboxing something," Meister explains.
The Meisters began selling Christmas trees in the 1960s and it's been passed down from generation to generation. George is the third generation, and he took over the business about four years ago after his grandfather passed away. It's a family affair for them and those picking out their trees.
"A lot of the people are our neighbors and friends, and a lot of the people have been coming here for multiple generations now. My grandpa started it in the '60s, we've got three different generations that come to do it - grandparents, parents, and then the new little kids of them that'll all come out. The grandparents talk about when they were young, coming out and picking out their tree here, so it's a full family experience. We see the same faces and we get to know them, and a lot of them we know what they're looking for when they show up and we try to help them find it," Meister says.
At Meister Christmas Tree Farm, customers can choose a pre-cut tree or cut down a tree themselves. Meister's provides the saw, and families can go out to the back of the fields and pick the tree they want to cut down. Each year, they plant 1,000 to 2,000 trees so families can continue coming to the farm for generations to come.
Meister's Christmas Tree Farm is open Thursdays 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays noon to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They will stop selling trees around Dec. 20.