The joys of summer are slowly fading and it is time to start thinking about the next celebration to cheer Torbay through a torrid 2020.
Marldon Christmas Tree Farm has been part of the festive fun for our community for a long time and the special experience of choosing your favourite tree, spending time with Santa and enjoying the Christmas Market is part of Torbay tradition.
Sadie Lynes has owned the Christmas Tree Farm for almost 12 years and their seasonal doors will be open early this time around.
“We know that Christmas will happen and everyone will want to really celebrate Christmas this year, in whichever family groups we can,” said Sadie.
“I am very optimistic about Christmas. We may have to find different ways of getting the trees to our customers and people might have to adapt their groups for visits to the farm, but it will still be Christmas.
“We can deliver to people’s homes, we may well have a drive-through system, click and collect, so there are lots of options for us to ensure that centre-piece to Christmas is ready for the festive season.
“For many people, Christmas starts when they get their tree in the house and we are getting ourselves ready to help people celebrate. For those that can’t come to Marldon, we transport our award-winning trees nationwide, so people can buy online, via phone, laptop, iPad, or even over the phone.
“Last Christmas was a very good year and we always try to change things around to make it a new experience for visitors. Whether it is the Father Christmas experience, the Christmas Market, or the restaurant, there is always something new.
“It is important to us that people visit the farm for a reason, not just for the Christmas trees, and it has become a family tradition for people to enjoy the whole site.
“In a normal year, we offer a ‘choose your own’ option on the trees for people from early November. The impact of Covid has led to the decision for us to open earlier in the season for ‘choose your own’, from October – please check the website for exact dates Www.marldonchristmastrees.co.uk
“The idea is to give people more time to choose when they visit, so we can also make the site Covid-safe. By opening early, we can extend our season and also ensure all safety guidelines are met.
“Santa will be a little different this year, as we are planning to offer a Virtual Santa, so people can log-on to the website and choose the letter or video route, with a presentation from Santa to the children.”
While the farm is open all-year round, it is that Christmas season that evokes so many treasured memories for the people of Torbay and South Devon.
Businesses across the globe have faced huge challenges over the past nine months and we are all aware there will be more hurdles to overcome, but positives are out there and a belief that the new year will bring better fortunes for everybody.
In the meantime, the plan is to get through Autumn and then celebrate like crazy at Christmas.
“As a community and a country, we need a boost,” added Sadie. “I speak to a lot of wholesalers, gardeners and other businesses, who have enjoyed a resurgence because people are spending more money in their own communities.
“There is doom and gloom out there, but also a lot of positives that we can take into the New Year. As a community, we have to believe that good things will come and a family Christmas is what we all need.
“For us, we were due to start hosting weddings this year and establishing holiday accommodation. If the Covid situation allows, that will be out objectives for next year, as well as enhancing our restaurant even further, possibly with a takeaway option.
“We are determined to make this Christmas special for people and then hoping for a brighter future next year.”
Amen to that!