Sunday, November 28, 2010

'Twas the Month Before Christmas (at Summers Christmas Tree Farm)

By Joann M. Ringelstetter

‘Twas the month before Christmas, and on Summers' farm,
Everybody was working to create Christmas charm.
The Christmas Shop was filled with gifts, wreaths, and bears,
Ornaments and snowmen and other kinds of wares.


The Head Elf, Simone, was training her elves
And Brenna, Elf in Training, was checking the shelves;
With Judy in her workshop and Bill in command,
The place was becoming a Christmas wonderland.


With just four days to go before opening day, I visited Summers Christmas Tree Farm, located a few miles west of Middleton, Wisconsin. I was on a mission to capture some images of the Christmas Shop before it opened for the season. Inside the Christmas Shop, everything was all in order. Outside, though, there was still much to do.


There were saws to hang on the poles for the adventurous; trees to cut for those who are less adventurous; baling machines and the refreshment stand to set up; wreaths, garland, and boughs to make and display, and many other last minute to-do’s. Everyone knew what their job was and they were busy doing it. And Judy, of course, was singing merrily as she went about making wreaths and lending a hand.


There’s work to do all year long at a Christmas tree farm, but things really come alive the closer it gets to Thanksgiving. Simone, the Head Elf and manager of the Christmas Shop, told me that it reminds her of Brigadoon. For those not familiar with the musical, two Americans hunting in Scotland become lost and discover a mysterious village called Brigadoon that isn’t on their map. This village appears out of the mist and comes alive for only one day every hundred years. Summers Christmas Tree Farm comes alive with Christmas magic for only a short time at the end of each year.


On the day after Thanksgiving, Ruth and I, along with our sister, Linda, and her family, did what we do every year – we made a trip to Summers Christmas Tree Farm to cut Christmas trees for each of our households. We had fun finding just the right trees and then Linda’s husband, Mike, kindly cut them down for us. After having our trees baled and loaded into our cars, we spent some time in the Christmas Shop enjoying all the wonderful ornaments and gifts they have available.


Judy and Bill Summers describe their business as “a family farm where memories grow.” They should know – they’ve been doing this for a long, long time. It’s been sixty years since Bill’s parents planted the first seedlings to start their Christmas tree farm. Last week, I selfishly asked Judy how much longer she and Bill planned to manage their farm. Judy told me that she couldn’t imagine doing anything else and that she planned to live to be 100 years old. That’s good news for us!


If you’re looking for a great place to establish a fun family Christmas tradition, head on over to Summers Christmas Tree Farm. It’s located about three miles west of Middleton, Wisconsin, at 4610 Rocky Dell Road. For more information, visit the Summers Christmas Tree Farm website.

Happy Shunpiking!
Joann

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