By Savanah Mandeville

As the Christmas season marks the end of a year full of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that we cherish the time we get to spend with our loved ones.

That’s why more and more families are really embracing the Christmas experience this year and opting for a live tree from a Christmas tree farm.

“We all know the world is uncertain right now, and people want something solid they can count on. Family traditions and family experiences are more important than ever before,” said Charity Keith, owner of Ozark Valley Christmas Tree Farm located just north of Southwest City, Missouri.

“It’s not only about the tree. It’s about getting to do something with your family to create memories.”

The idea began with Jon and Charity Keith’s love of gardening that grew into a year-round agricultural endeavor when they began planting their evergreens in 2004. Seven years later, the trees were fully grown, and Ozark Valley Christmas Tree Farm began welcoming visitors. This will be their ninth year in business.

Ozark Valley Christmas Tree Farm has seven acres of Scotch Pine and White Pines visitors can cut down themselves. Austrian Pine and Loblolly Pitch Pines will be available in the coming years. They also offer cold-loving varieties that won’t grow in this area of the country: Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir and Concolor Fir.

Ozark Valley Christmas Tree Farm also offers a family-friendly experience with hayrides, crafts, lights, Christmas music, a food truck and lots of photo ops at the nativity scene, sleigh and in the barn.

“Our gift shop is full of locally made, hand-crafted items,” Charity said. “We have fresh kettle corn, local honey, jam, breads and bakery items. There are plenty of wreaths, swags and a variety of gifts, such as candles, soap, clothing and home decor.

Ozark Valley Christmas Tree Farm has taken several precautions in order to continue to provide a safe holiday experience while minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19.

“We’ve added an outdoor walk-up register, and we’re running more hayrides to reduce the number of passengers in each wagon. We are also offering free barnside pickup. Customers can pay for their trees, stands and wreaths online and arrange a time to pick up their items. Trees can also be delivered for an additional charge.”

Another new addition to the farm this year is the toy shop. The winter wonderland-themed toy shop allows children to ring a bell and give their order to a “toy maker” that will be busy at work preparing the toy for delivery.

“We love Christmas because it’s a time to celebrate how God showed His love for us when He sent His Son, Jesus, to Earth,” Charity said. “We hope to demonstrate this love to everyone who visits us at Ozark Valley Christmas Tree Farm.”