Our adventure with Grandpa Dan’s Christmas Tree Farm began in 2018 with our first visit to cut our Christmas tree. We had recently moved to the area and welcomed our third boy, Danny. After googling close “You Cut” farms, we landed at Grandpa Dan’s.
*excerpt from our offer letter*
The experience was nothing short of magical. We watched the awe in the eyes of our boys as they marveled at the trees and soaked in Grandpa Dan’s descriptions. We snuggled our 4-week-old and embraced the green, sun, and cold. These moments changed us. Later that evening, we began talking at the same time about wanting to return to the farm. The conversation was passionate enough for us to go back and Dan offered his help and business card to Grandpa Dan. At the very least, he promised to be a customer for as long as there were trees growing. The dream faded but never disappeared behind the full days of raising our three boys. Each Christmas for the next three years, we returned to the farm and were greeted with candy canes, a big smile, and wise words. Grandpa Dan’s presence became a part of our Christmas tradition.
In May 2021, we got together with some friends we hadn’t seen for awhile. We had talked with them in the past about our experience at Grandpa Dan’s farm, and when we were catching up, they asked if anything had come of that dream. We smiled at the suggestion and explained that the dream was still quietly alive, but nothing had changed in reality. Then, two days after this gathering, one of the friends reached out to Dan to let him know that Grandpa Dan had passed away. Dan and I became emotional hearing the news, looking through old photos from the Christmas Tree Farm and recalling our wonderful memories there. Dan decided to share our story with Grandpa Dan’s grandkids, whom he remembered Grandpa Dan speaking of fondly. Our condolences began the communication, and we felt both a peace and loss wash over us. A loss of someone we admired and the experience he provided. But, not a loss of the dream. It ignited our passion for starting a Christmas tree farm and we began looking at land. It would take 7 – 10 years to grow a saleable Christmas tree, though in that time of growth our boys and we could also grow. The day we got our loan approval and were ready to make an offer on another piece of land, one of Grandpa Dan’s grandkids reached out to us explaining that they were planning to sell the farm and asking if we would be interested. We were in awe once again. Yes, we were interested. Months of back and forth passed as we worked with banks, lawyers, and appraisers to get all the trees (I mean, ducks) in a row. There were moments we didn’t think it would all work out; however, on October 13, 2021, our offer was accepted and we became tree farm people.
*excerpt from our offer letter*
The truth is, we aren’t tree farm people. We’re people who believe in something bigger, love working together as a team and family, and have faith that sometimes life is half timing and the other half is luck. We’ve prayed for the right opportunity to build something magical. To share the goodness we’ve received in life with others. To spread joy and love and comfort. Each time we’d consider pursuing a different opportunity or dismissing this dream, something would happen to bring it back into focus. It was often so obvious we’d laugh and think, maybe we ARE going to be tree farm people.
We intend to keep Grandpa Dan’s name. It’s a small sign that we have two Dans in our family, and it’d be an honor to have a big sign saying “Grandpa Dan’s” going forward. The name connects all of us together. It warms our hearts to think that a tree Grandpa Dan planted years ago or a tree our son Danny plants in the future could bring joy to people throughout the community for years.
And that’s how it all began. The wild and winding path to Our Whole Whorls.