The holiday season has arrived, and Christmas tree sellers across the country are reporting a surge in business. Cheryl Thiele, co-owner of Hinkemeyer Christmas Tree Farm in Rice, says they saw about twice as many customers as usual during their opening weekend in November:

“Not only just getting their Christmas tree but getting out into nature without a mask on because you’re out in the fields getting hot cocoa and just looking around and maybe picking up a couple of decorations or ornaments.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic likely to keep more families home for the holidays this year, Thiele says they’re seeing some new faces, and people excited to celebrate the season.