A holiday tradition: After Thanksgiving it's time to seek out, then cut down fresh Christmas trees

MEQUON (WITI) -- After enjoying the big Thanksgiving feast and perhaps venturing out for a little shopping, some started thinking about the next fast-approaching holiday: Christmas! Most of the Christmas tree stands in the Milwaukee area opened for business this weekend.

For many families, hunting for and cutting down a Christmas tree is an annual tradition.

"We compete with the artificial tree, but a lot of people are coming back to the fresh trees," Rick O'Malley, owner of Trees for Less said.

Ryan Mattson says he was always a "real tree guy."

"When I married him he said 'we have to have real trees,' and I said 'okay, that sounds good.' I love it. It's great. It's a fun tradition to come out and cut the trees with the kids," Mattson's wife, Emily said.

"Trees for Less" is a family-owned nursery in Mequon that opened before Thanksgiving. In addition to Christmas trees, Trees for Less also offers family fun. Families can enjoy hot chocolate by the campfire and a hay ride.

O'Malley says now is a great time to purchase and then decorate your Christmas tree.

"You just to make sure you give your tree a nice fresh cut before you put it up. Luke-warm water helps to open up the pores at the base of the tree to start it drinking," O'Malley said.

Many say they enjoy the fresh pine smell a real Christmas tree offers.

The National Christmas Tree Association says over the last five years, real Christmas tree purchases have gone up by nearly two percent, while artificial tree purchases have decreased by three percent.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Trees for Less in Mequon.