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Christmas tree sales starting to blossom
Kinsey Family Farm in Gainesville among earliest locations to find a tree
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It is crisp and fresh and reminds you of those days when you were a little kid and you couldn’t wait to open your presents from Santa.

It is the smell of a new Christmas tree, and although Christmas is still over a month away, some people are already looking forward to this smell filling their living room.

Dawson County resident Matthew Bennett said he loves real Christmas trees because of the smell and the feel of the tree.

He said his family normally chooses to pick out its tree during the first week in December.

“My mom and I are the two people who decorate the tree,” Bennett said. “She normally puts the lights on, and I help with the ornaments. We always try to balance out the tree so there isn’t too much on one side, and I always try to find a good place for my favorite ornament — my pickle.”

Although a pickle may sound like an odd choice for a favorite ornament, Flowery Branch resident Caitlin O’Dell also admits her love for pink flamingo ornaments is a little odd.

“We have some really nice wood-carved ones that I like, too, but I also like the silly ones,” she said. “We have one of Santa riding a dolphin, and we have a couple of ‘Star Trek’ spaceships.”

For those who are already bringing out the goofy ornaments and hoping to get an early look at Christmas trees, the Kinsey Family Farm in Gainesville is already open and ready for the public to come and see its wide selection.

During the 2010 season the Kinsey family will have more than 2,000 Christmas trees to choose from. Some of the varieties the farm offers include North Carolina Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Concolor Fir, Leyland Cypress, Carolina Sapphire, Blue Ice Cypress, Norway Spruce, Eastern Hemlock and Deodar Cedar.

For the past three seasons, the Kinsey Family Farm has donated 20 Christmas trees to military families and personnel through the Trees for Troops program. The farm will do it again this year with another 20 trees. Its goal this year is to surpass its donated amount with trees donated by the public.

“We wouldn’t miss this opportunity,” said Andy Kinsey, co-owner of the farm. “All of our trees go to Camp Frank D.

Merrill, which is up in Dahlonega, and those rangers are the elite — they are hardcore and unbelievable. And you would not believe how moving this is for them.”

Kinsey said he has already sold 60 to 70 trees since opening the farm this past weekend.

“You really want to get a Christmas tree from someone that fresh cuts them when they receive them and keeps them in water,” he said. “Then they will look really good on Christmas.”

Kinsey said to test how good a tree is, you can also do the “needle test” and pull on a few of the tree’s needles to see how easily they come off.

Three Dimensional Life, a Gainesville residential ministry program targeted at reaching troubled teenage boys ages 14 to 19 is also gearing up for whatwhat it likes to call “The Ultimate Christmas Experience.”

Greg Brooks, executive director of Three Dimensional Life, saidit wanted to do something unique this year to serve the community and help raise awareness about its mission.

“We understand that most companies are not able to give big Christmas bonuses anymore, so we have created an alternative,” Brooks said. “In lieu of the usual gift of a turkey or a Christmas bonus, we are offering the ‘Ultimate Christmas Experience,’ which includes hayrides, s’mores, hot chocolate, Santa and a choose and cut Christmas tree.”

A donation of $25 will give an entire family in need the opportunity to have this experience.

“This is a little different from last year because we just gave trees away and didn’t seek out businesses and individuals to sponsor the event,” he said. “This year we’ve really tried to partner with the community to serve more families in need.”
Brooks said that it is incredible to see families in need get a chance to celebrate Christmas.

“This is the season of hope and even with a somewhat hopeless economy, with the ‘Ultimate Christmas Experience,’ people can believe in Christmas again like they believed in Santa when they were little kids,” Brooks said.

For more information about the Kinsey Family Farm and Three Dimensional Life, visit their websites.