BECKVILLE — Merket Christmas Tree Farm in Beckville is gearing up for its 31st year of selling Christmas trees beginning at noon on Thanksgiving Day and it can’t come a moment too soon as East Texans are champing at the bit to get Christmas underway.

Though the Merket Christmas Tree Farm, located at 785 FM 1794 in Beckville, is opening on Thanksgiving Day the farm has already had people trying to buy their Christmas trees early this year.

“We’ve had a lot of phone calls from people wanting to buy trees already,” Owner Jackie Merket said.

Merket said his Christmas trees will last through Christmas Day if they are kept up with frequent watering but to push it by selling live trees before Thanksgiving Day isn’t wise.

“I’ve heard of people adding different things to the water to make their trees last longer and I’m sure it helps some, we even sell a preservative here at our store, but the best thing for these trees is just to keep them watered and they will last,” he said.

Guests to the farm this year will have their pick of the popular Virginia Pine and Leland Cyprus Christmas trees that Merket grows onsite, or the Frasier Fir that is chopped and shipped in fresh each year from North Carolina.

“The Frasier Firs that are headed here from North Carolina were just cut this week so they will be very fresh and last through Christmas Day as long as they stay watered,” Merket said.

Any tree purchased comes shaken and bagged up with a stand leveled and attached by the farm staff, Merket said. Guests can even chop the tree themselves or grab the tree’s tag and take it to staff to have them cut it for them.

Merket also offers flocking for any tree, which is done by hand on-site. Those wanting a flocked tree can either pick out a pre-flocked tree or select a tree and come back later to have it flocked. The flocking is fire retardant, providing an extra level of protection against a fire, Merket said.

“The Virginia Pine and Frasier Fir have a good Christmas tree smell to them but the Leland Cyprus don’t have a smell at all,” Merket said. “The Leland Cyprus are great for people that have allergies but still want to enjoy a real Christmas tree.”

The Leland Cyprus also tends to shed less than the other two brands, Merket said.

The trees come in sizes from 4 ft. to 12 ft. tall and all sizes in between.

Merket said due to the rain this year, this season’s Christmas trees are some of the best in years.

“They did really well this year,” Merket said. “We have some really beautiful trees.”

The family run farm, which began selling Christmas trees in 1989, also grows peaches, muscadines, berries and other fruits, which they make homemade preservatives and jellies from and sell on site at their store.

The store also offers honey from a local beekeeper, fresh baked homemade breads, scarves, stockings and Christmas candies such as fudge and chocolate covered peanut clusters.

“The candies are sold to benefit the Panola County Cancer Coalition,” Merket said. “The proceeds from the candy sales go to straight to that organization.”

While the parents shop, children can visit the baby goats at the petting zoo on site or purchase a goat to take home.

The farm is open from noon to 6 p.m. today for Thanksgiving and from 3 to 6 p.m. each Monday through Thursday through just before Christmas Day. The farm opens from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Jellies, juices and other store items are available for sale year round.

For more information, visit the farm’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/merketfarm or call (903) 678-2359. Guests can also visit their website at www.texaschristmastrees.net/merketfarm

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