There are many people who have never displayed an artificial Christmas tree.
Long before Ashe County became the No.1 county in the United States in the production of Christmas trees, most families would go into the woods and choose a White Pine for their Christmas tree. While they were there, they would gather branches with flowering red berries from native Holly trees along with mistletoe, which grows in treetops, for decorations.
Today, we find loyalty to the rich fragrance of a real Fraser Fir, a Colorado Spruce, or the many other varieties of trees produced in the North Carolina Mountains.
A real Christmas tree with its deep green needles and graceful presence in a home now transforms from a gracious thing of nature to the splendor of lights, a crowning star, and sparkling adornments.
The tradition of choosing your own Christmas tree is still a family tradition.
Many local tree farmers promote Choose and Cut during November and December.
This is the time of year that hundreds of families come to Ashe County to Choose and Cut their own family tree.
The families gather for a day at one of the Christmas tree farms and select the perfect tree for the upcoming holiday. It is a holiday outing with some farms offering hayrides through the farm’s rows of Christmas trees while sipping hot chocolate or apple cider until the perfect tree appears. It is part of their Christmas tradition year after year.
For some people, Choose and Cut is only a day trip, while others stay the weekend in one of the many rental log cabins or mountain homes available. It is an annual event that becomes an annual tradition.
The Town of West Jefferson Comes Alive with the Holiday Spirit.
The shop owners and art galleries have offerings of local items, handmade goods, and a plethora of art in every medium imaginable. The restaurants serve deliciously home-cooked, locally grown food, while coffee shops and award-winning breweries offer their Christmas specials. West Jefferson offers unique eateries and shops with distinctive Christmas gifts for all the family.
Ashe County Cheese is one of the mainstays in downtown West Jefferson. In 1930, they began producing cheddar cheese, which was sold nationwide. Today, they produce other varieties including their original cheddar. For the holidays, people come from near and far to buy cheese and Christmas foods sold at the Ashe County Cheese Store.
The Christmas Tree
We should remember how the Christmas tree came from something long ago. It is a symbol of something evergreen and everlasting. A recognition of the coming time of growth and a remembrance of the birth of Christ.
It is so much more than a place to display presents. A real Christmas tree embodies the meanings and the traditions of the holiday itself.