VANCOUVER, Wash. — This long holiday weekend gave people a chance to get outside and that was good for the first big weekend of Christmas tree sales. COVID-19 precautions were in place and business was booming.
Having a campfire was not new, at a Boy Scout tree lot in the Salmon Creek area in Clark County. But posting COVID safety rules was. Scouts said most people were cooperating.
“It's going pretty smoothly; if anybody takes off their mask we just ask them kindly to put it back on, or if it slips below their nose, we tell them please put it up", said James Surface, who is a member of BSA Troop 14.
The rules at the scout lot worked for the Hauf sisters, who were there getting a tree.
“You kind of get to interact, like pick a tree out with them and it's really nice,” said Jessi Hauf. “And even though we're wearing masks (it feels like) you're dealing with other people which is fun, and I like that.”
A lot of people have a tradition of cutting down their own tree. And that is what is happening at you-cut tree farms in the area, including Thornton's Treeland in Clark County, where there are plenty of evergreens to choose from for people looking for a fresh air experience.
And with enough room to be away from others, many people removed their face coverings when it was safe to do so.
“We have 45 acres of clean tree’d ground here. And so it's a good chance to get out of the cabin so to speak,” said farm founder Glen Thornton.
Thornton's planted the tree farm in 1970 and this may be their strongest start yet.
Brett and Aiden Hampton were doing the father-son thing, getting a tree.
“We have no guidance so that’s the best thing in the world; we don’t spend two hours walking around looking for the perfect tree, we say, 'Yep, that’s the one, cut it and go,'” said Brett Hampton.
Eleven-year-old Aiden thought his mom would be impressed with his choice.
“Because she said she trusted me, and she likes trees that are not too short and that don't have patches, and so I saw this tree and was like, my mom's gonna love it,” said Aiden.
Dad Brett agreed and was pleased they were able to get out and get a tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
“We don’t really have to wear a mask at this point, we get to cut down a tree… we'll go have it shaken out, we'll put our masks on for a few minutes and then we'll leave: that's a good day.”