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The "Grizwald" family Christmas Tree

web posted December 3, 2007
COLUMN – With the Christmas season beginning this past weekend we headed off to find what my wife calls the “Clark Grizwald family Christmas Tree”. And there is no better place to do that than Charlie and Nancy Mills’ Clarks Hill Christmas Tree Farm located just off Garrett Road on Bennie Dorn Road in the western part of Edgefield County.

After arriving at the vast rolling hills of the farm covered in a wide variety of trees and sizes the first stop is the refreshment shed where the aroma of hot chocolate and cider fill the air. And what hunt for that perfect tree would be complete without a big cupful of boiled peanuts dipped right out of the steaming pot?

Then comes the family battle, what kind and how big this year’s will tree be. Our youngest daughter Christin insists that we have a large tree and points out a thirty-footer. Okay, now I am starting to see why my wife sees a similarity of Chevy Chase and the Christmas Vacation movie.

My wife and oldest daughter Leia point out several in the six to eight foot range. Most are perceived with a Goldie Locks attitude of too thin, too short, or a combination of both.

Below: The Clark Hill Christmas Tree Farm

After a near hour walk across the farmland, and my failing knees, we found the perfect tree, an eleven-foot Carolina Sapphire and the heavens opened up and shown down a great light upon the tree. Well, not really, but I figured I needed to keep in step with the Grizwald Christmas Vacation theme. 

An attendant came and cut our tree down and placed in on one of the many the open trailers pulled behind tractors transporting families to and from the fields. Just as the tree fell came the usual response of, “I don’t know, maybe that tree (pointing to another), might be better.”

One of the many advantages of choosing a tree from the Mills’ farm is being assured of the freshest tree possible. Having your tree cut at the time of its choosing and getting it home and in the stand will make it longer lasting and more likely to continue to draw water from the stand.

It is important that you keep your tree watered and to place it a safe distance from heat sources or fire places to prevent fires.

So the tree was loaded atop of our Tahoe and again I began to see my wife’s claim of the Grizwald Christmas Tree as the top of the tree hung well beyond the back of the truck as we traveled back to our home.

After placing the tree in its stand it was time to decorate. My lovely bride, who has annually - for the last eight years - purchased “Santa Heads” from The Christmas Store in Highlands, North Carolina as if she was a headhunter in the Congo (that seems sadistic in my mind for some reason). She makes sure each has a notable place on the tree.

When all was said and done the lights are plugged in and it was time to enjoy the family Christmas Tree, beheaded Santa’s and all.

At least, for the time being, I am able to convince my wife that we do not have to have 40 million light bulbs stapled to our rooftop that may interfere with airline traffic control or overload the nearest nuclear power station.

Somehow I feel that day coming as well.

Clarks Hill Christmas Tree Farm
Open daily from 2 - 5:30 pm Monday - Friday
Saturday 9 am - 5:30 pm
Sunday from 1 - 5:30 pm

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