Christmas tree and decoration retailers are preparing for the last-minute rush as holidays and work leave kicks in the week before the big day.
Bredbo Christmas Barn’s head elf Leanne de Smet said despite everything 2020 has thrown, it has been the most extraordinary Christmas season.
“Everything has been popular; we have never been as empty as we are now,” she said.
“People have never gotten out of the Christmas cheer here. Our customers are always into Christmas in a very big way. We have had the most amazing support this year as we get every year.
“We will be unpacking stock as fast as we can until the very last day we’re open [21 December].”
Given the year that was 2020, Leanne says her customers are going out of their way to make this year as special as they can.
“A lot of people have re-evaluated what is really important and family and getting family together, because they have not been able to get together, has been a real priority,” she said. “They want to make Christmas special and we are here to help them do that.”
The shop opened its doors in Canberra in 1979 before moving to Bredbo in 2004, and generations of Canberrans who used to visit the store still continue to travel to Bredbo every year for the festive tradition.
“Our Christmas is very much collectable, so people who shop with us are adding to collections that they sometimes started generations ago,” Leanne said.
“We have the fourth generation coming to visit us, we are having the same customers continuing to shop with us and their children and grandchildren are now coming out as well.
“Ornaments start off as ornaments and over time they become memories and heirlooms.”
Demand for Christmas trees is also high this festive season.
Farms along the South Coast reportedly sold out of ferns early, unable to keep up with the increased demand after years of drought.
Given that it takes three to four years to grow a Christmas tree, farmers are unable to quickly increase their stock to keep up with the demand, leaving many waiting and others improvising, such as using decorating branches from gum trees.
Santa’s Shaped Christmas Tree Farm in Gundaroo completely sold out of trees above 1.8 metres – or six feet – but have thousands of smaller trees available for Canberrans who left the decorations to the last minute.
The large trees proved so popular this year that the farm had to stop accepting online orders a week ago because they couldn’t keep up with the demand.
The trees will also be sold at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets for those who can’t make the drive out to the farm.