MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — What kind of Christmas tree do you like? Real? Fake?

Or are you just someone who likes to wait until the last minute to decorate for the holidays?

The Farmers Market Annex in Minneapolis sells thousands of trees every December. Owner Scott Barriball says he sees customers’ interests change every year as they search for that perfect living room centerpiece.

This year continues to follow that trend, as we found one grandfather-grandson duo in search for the prize to take home.

It’s a tradition Steve Hanson used to share with his daughter. Now he continues it with his grandson, Max.

“Look at how thick these trees are,” said Hanson to his grandson. “Aren’t they beautiful?”

Hanson takes a trip to the Farmer’s Market Annex every December. With Max in hand, they scoured the lot for one that caught their attention. Hanson also pointed out to Max good habits to get into while on their search.

“[You] always look at the base too, because that’s what you have to put in the tree stand,” Hanson said.

Ben Austing, who runs the Famers Market Annex tree lot, says Fraser firs seem to be their hottest sellers.

“They hold heavy ornaments, you know, the powered ornaments and stuff like that, they hold those the best,” Austing said.

Continuing with his tradition, Steve passed on the Fraser fir and settled for something a little more his style — a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

“They’re hard to find,” Hanson said. “We’ve had some really bad ones, really wonderful place for taking care of a bad tree.”

Barriball has been in the tree business for 30 years, and he says he’s seen sales triple the last couple years for smaller trees.

“People that are buying condos and living in apartments just can’t really handle the bigger trees,” Barriball said.

They come in all different varieties: little Fraser, balsam or spruce.

Just like in Charlie Brown — beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“This tree (pointing at a smaller tree on their lot, standing about 3 feet tall) to you might not look very good, but for somebody it might be the best tree they ever had,” Barriball said.

For Hanson, it’s not just about finding a tree that’s rough around the edges. He likes a unique look.

“We’ve got hundreds of ornaments that we’ve been saving for, you know, 40 years, and so I want them all over the place,” Hanson said.

More importantly, this year’s visit was about building a memory that will last for many holidays to come. Even Santa chimed in when Hanson and his grandson were leaving the lot.

“That is the best tree here. It’s Santa approved, for sure,” Santa said.

Click here for more information on the Farmers Market Annex.

Ali Lucia

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