One of the perks of living in the Pioneer Valley is that there is no shortage of small, independent or family-owned/operated businesses and farms that have managed to get creative in this pandemic in order to safely keep their doors open and continue serving their community.
I’ve been trying to shop local whenever possible these past few months to play my own small role in keeping my neighborhood surviving and thriving- but I’ve increased those efforts when doing my holiday shopping this year since Christmas can be a really trying, stressful time for business owners- even without a catastrophic global health crisis going on.
Earlier this week, wanting to spruce up my little Christmas tree that is presently brightening up a corner of my apartment- I stopped by a roadside farm stand that I often pass while en route to Vermont but had never found the time to explore before now.
The Emerson Family Christmas Tree Farm, located in my town of Greenfield, Massachusetts- is presently open for your holiday/Christmas tree/décor needs with social distancing protocols in place. I was able to sanitize my hands, maintain my distance from others, and safely shop their insanely cute (and cozy!) store for handmade and affordable ornaments and wreaths.
The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful- and even though I didn’t leave with a new tree- I know where I’ll be going if I want to try my hand at having a real one for the holidays next year. Until then, I’m fine with decorating a pre-lit plastic one. It looks much, much better than when I first set it up a few days ago.
I can’t stress it enough- if you can shop local this holiday season- please do so! There are so many businesses and business-owners who have been struggling during this pandemic, and this time of year can feel extra overwhelming when it comes to staying operational and making ends meet. They’ll appreciate your consideration- and you’ll appreciate the goods/services they put so much of their time, talent and effort into!