Another Holiday Tradition Goes High Tech

christmas tree farm
Why cut when you can click?

If your family prefers a real Christmas tree over an artificial one, you generally have two options for acquiring that tree.  You can either head over to the nearest Christmas tree lot and choose a pre-cut tree from their inventory.  Or drive out to the country to select and chop your own tree at a Christmas tree farm.

Either way, the exercise is usually about more than decorating for the holidays.  Choosing a tree together as a family is a tradition that many of us have enjoyed since we were kids ourselves.

But now, thanks to the Internet, that tradition may soon be a thing of the past.

National retailers, including Target and Costco, are now selling live Christmas trees online.  And while choosing a tree from the comfort of your own home isn’t nearly as popular as the more traditional method, it’s likely only a matter of time before it is.

It is estimated that about 30 million farm-grown Christmas trees are sold each year.  Of that, only about 3% of them are purchased online.  But because the idea of selling live trees online is fairly new – Target just started doing it this year – those numbers are sure to increase once word gets out.

Marshal Cohen, of the market research firm NPD Group, says that Target’s jump into the online tree business is a sign of just how competitive the holidays have become.

Is it bad? No. Does it change the tradition of the holiday? Absolutely, yes.  But guess what? That’s not the retailer’s issue. The retailer’s job is to try to make your life better so you’ll spend more money. If you want to go and cut a tree down, go ahead.

So?  What’s it going to be for your family?  Is choosing a Christmas tree a family tradition you look forward to? Or would you be happy to skip it for the convenience of ordering a tree online?

Image:  CJ Sorg/Flickr

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