Lessons from 1986 lead us to Christmas tree decisions in 2021
When the news starts talking about Christmas trees this year, you're going to hear some of the same storylines you’ve been hearing for the last few years--storylines that revolve around the Christmas tree shortage. This was an issue even pre-pandemic and honestly, it will continue to be this way for a few more seasons. In addition, there is a lot of talk about inflation and the increased costs of supplies, trucking, and labor. Unfortunately, all of these things are 100% true! However, we have been working hard to negate as many of the increased costs as we can.
The cost to do business has increased over 20% this year. It’s honestly gut-wrenching to do the math. We as a business have to address the increases, but at the same time, we feel that our customers need a break. The cost of everything is going up all around us and many are struggling already. We know that; you know that; now what can we do?
We will launch the 8th Annual Christmas Tree Pre-Sale on Sunday, September 19th!
Larissa and I have done some major reflecting this year and have created a plan that we believe is the best for everyone. The theme this year is to “Take A Stand”. We are going to battle the price increases by bringing in more trees than we ever have. It’s also more risk than we have ever taken on.
If you are part of the forums for Christmas tree businesses then you know: they have been in a frenzy for months. Farms in the Northwest don't have supply and the Great Freeze of 2021 is going to affect supplies from Canada all the way down to local choose and cut farms this year. We have never had so many farms and other Christmas tree businesses reach out to us to get help with sourcing trees. But we have been hesitant to commit to other businesses until we received confirmation from our suppliers, because our partner farms have been busy assessing their supply, what they could allocate, and how much the prices were going to increase. We focused our efforts on finding and building relationships with farms that we know and trust from previous seasons. This year, it's paying off.
A majority of the additional trees that we are bringing in this year will be in the 5-9 foot range. By doing this, we minimize our price increases. We are actually lowering the price of 5-6 ft trees and maintaining 2020 pricing on our 6-7, 7-8, and 8-9 ft trees. The pricing of trees above 9ft is unfortunately going to increase and there will be very limited quantity, so if you're looking for one of those PLEASE get your pre-order in quickly.
We are going to take criticism from some for not raising all of our prices and we are fine with that. Our counter to this is a reminder of the “WHY” Christmas trees are very close to my heart.
Let me take you back to 1986:
I was just 9 years old, my parents had separated and were divorcing. Christmas was always a time of joy, but this year, I watched my mom struggle with knowing how to bring that joy to her children. Several nights, my family volunteered in the town garage with teams of others building garland and decor for the town center. A place that was actually right outside my family's apartment window.
The Common, as it was called, was flooded in the winter to make an ice skating rink and the light poles were wrapped with lights and garland, all made by hand from those of us in the garage. With the sounds of Christmas music blaring, it was a joyous and happy place, to say the least.
But in that apartment, just up above the Common, was a family struggling. We could barely meet our basic needs, nevermind the expense of gifts and a Christmas tree. My mom used the last of her Christmas savings to buy a Christmas tree to put in the window of the apartment. Wrapped with homemade popcorn garland and construction paper links, it was something we could all look at and feel the Christmas spirit.
My mom knew that the gifts and fancy meals weren’t as important as keeping her family together and safe. I don’t remember when it happened, but one day before Christmas we were returning home, heading up the stairs to the apartment, and were stopped in our tracks by the site of boxes, bags, and gifts that blocked the entry door.
Strangers took care of the things that completed that Christmas and provided true gifts of love and compassion. The people who put those gifts and food in front of that door had no idea what they had done. They planted a seed in the heart of a man that to this day, drives him and his dreams.
Stories like this play out every year, and every year Brungot Farms will work to turn them into life-changing memories, for the better of us all.
As of yesterday, we received word that our “tree wishlist” for the 2021 season has been approved! With that, we can move forward with what we hope is a tree season full of happiness and joy, which is what we know we all really need this Christmas. Families all over need hope and help, and we are committing to providing more gifts of love and acts of compassion than ever before.
As a family, we have really changed our focus this year toward getting back to what’s important. We will talk more about this in upcoming posts. Thank you all for your patience and continued support: We will launch the 8th Annual Christmas Tree Pre-Sale on Sunday, September 19th!
The Brungot Farms family
- Aaron Brungot