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MOORESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — David Jay anticipated additional coronavirus restrictions and wasn’t certain his Christmas tree farm would be open for business this winter.

Not only is Jay’s Tree Farm open – with masking and social distancing requirements – the family-owned business in Mooresville is generating record tree sales for early December.

“In fact, I’m going tomorrow to pick up another load,” Jay said Tuesday, adding his supplier was “really tight” on live Christmas trees due to surging demand and a nationwide tree shortage.

Approximately 25% of Americans who had artificial Christmas trees or no tree in 2019 plan to purchase a real one this year, according to the Christmas Tree Promotion Board, a promotion research organization funded by North American Christmas tree growers.

Hoosiers celebrating the end of a rough year reported putting up Christmas decorations earlier, spending more money to create home holiday cheer and carving out more time to select live trees with loved ones.

Visiting a Christmas tree farm is among the few holiday activities largely unaffected by the pandemic, Jay’s Tree Farm customers noted.

“We haven’t been around a lot of people, so it’s just nice to have fun together as a family,” said Ali Klausing, who visited Tuesday with her partner, children and pet pig.

Several vehicles were waiting to take their spot when they pulled out of the farm’s packed parking lot with a small windowsill tree.

Jay projected a 10% increase in Christmas tree sales this year, based on demand since Black Friday, but said it was difficult to predict consumer behavior during the pandemic.

“Just trying to get through this the best we can and have something positive for people,” he said.

He was silent for a moment when he considered other small business owners and farmers whose livelihoods had been devastated by the pandemic.

Seeing record sales during such challenging times “makes you humble,” Jay said quietly.