It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means it’s Christmas tree time here in Arlington.
As in past years, there are a number of tree sales going on in the county this holiday season. In fact, there appears to be more this year than in 2021. Many sales begin this weekend, right after the Thanksgiving holiday.
However, that perfect pine may cost you more this year.
The Knights of Columbus, for instance, is resuming tree sales this year after being closed for the last two seasons due to Covid and tree supply issues.
But the group is cautioning locals that the price of a Christmas tree will be higher this year compared to last year due to rising operating costs and inflation.
“This will remain a challenging year for us, as have many other tree lot operators, as we have experienced almost a doubling of the wholesale costs from our suppliers due to the continuing Christmas tree shortage and the impact of inflation on shipping charges,” a spokesperson wrote ARLnow in an email. “While we realize this may reduce the amount we can raise from the sale, we felt it important to reopen the lot this year, as we’ve heard from many of our customers over the last few years that they miss their family tradition of heading down to the lot to get their tree.”
While not every tree sale posts prices in advance, at least two other local sales have appeared to have raised tree prices by about 15% compared to 2021.
Below are the sales that ARLnow has confirmed are happening this year.
Optimist Club of Arlington
Starts: Friday, Nov. 25 at noon
Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road)
The lot will be open every day of the week until all the trees are sold out. All profits go towards Arlington youth sports and academic activities.
Clarendon United Methodist Church
Starts: Saturday, Nov. 26 at 9 a.m.
Clarendon United Methodist Church (606 N. Irving Street)
There will be 300 trees for sale this year. Pre-sale is open now, with pick-up at the church lot. The trees come from Canada and the six to seven-foot trees cost $85 this year, a ten-dollar increase from last year. All proceed are going to Arlington Thrive. This sale has been held annually since 2007.
Scout Troop 167
Starts: Friday, Nov. 25 at noon
Mount Olivet United Methodist Church (1500 N. Glebe Road)
The boys and girls of Scout Troop 167 are hosting a sale near Ballston again this year. It’s being held Thanksgiving weekend, on Nov. 25, 26, and 27. The sale starts at noon on Friday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. Saturday. It will go to 8 p.m. each night. The next weekend (Dec. 2, 3, and 4) are backup dates in case of inclement weather. Pre-sales are being accepted.
After receiving thousands of toys last year, the Arlington Knights of Columbus on Little Falls Road will be hold its second annual Toys for Tots drive this weekend.
The drive will be held on both Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 4 and 5), from noon to 7 p.m., outside of the Knights of Columbus Arlington Council 2473 at 5115 Little Falls Road, in the Rock Spring neighborhood.
Like last year, the event will be drive-thru only, with uniformed Marines, volunteers, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus greeting folks and helping to gather toys. There will also be thousands of Christmas lights decorating the 117-year-old building and festive inflatables to get all in the mood.
The organization is also known for annually providing Thanksgiving meals to those in the community who are in need.
2020 marked the first year for the toy drive. Organized by Knights of Columbus member Myles McMorrow and his wife Kate Gilchrist, the community’s dedication last year caught them by surprise.
“We were just shocked at the outpouring,” McMorrow tells ARLnow. “We thought we may get a couple hundred toys. But, then, the cars kept on coming, coming, and coming.”
In the end, McMorrow says they collected nearly 4,000 toys for needy children. The hope, of course, is that the number will be topped this year.
What’s needed most this holiday season are toys for infants to 2-year-olds, as well as toys for older kids ages 11 to 14, notes McMorrow.
When collected, all the toys will be shipped down to the Toys for Tots facility near Fredericksburg, from which the organization, run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, will distribute the gifts.
McMorrow believes the reason for the drive’s success so far is because many offices are either still shut down or at reduced capacity with more people working from home. Traditionally, offices are where such holiday donation drives take place. People still want to give, but the opportunities to do this are fewer given remote work, he notes.
If folks can’t make the trip this weekend, boxes will be available at the Knights of Columbus for toy drop-off through Christmas.
Even during an extremely tough 20 months for all, McMorrow remains amazed at the local desire to help others.
“People pulled up with van loads [of toys],” he says about last year’s drive. “I mean, the whole back of their Yukon was just full of toys. People are very generous.”
COVID Case at County Jail — “An inmate in the Arlington County Detention Center has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is doing well and the medical contractor of the Detention Center will be closely managing his symptoms. This is the first inmate to have contracted the COVID-19 virus and the Sheriff’s Office is taking all necessary steps to ensure the well being of those incarcerated.” [Arlington County]
Historic Designation for Rouse Estate? — “Members of the Arlington government’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) voted 10-0 on Nov. 17 to move forward on a preliminary study toward determining whether the 9-acre Rouse estate at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and North McKinley Road meets qualifications to be designated as a local historic district.” [InsideNova]
Rainy Night On Tap — “The calendar flipped to meteorological winter Tuesday, and the atmosphere is going all in. A strong storm system could drench the coastal Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with a soaking shot of rainfall late Friday night into Saturday, while inland areas risk being blanketed by the first big snow of the season.” [Capital Weather Gang]
Toy Donation Event Sunday — “With Federal unemployment ending and the Marine’s Toys for Tots program seeing record low donations, The Arlington Knights of Columbus chapter will be holding a drive-thru Toys for Tots drop-off event. The event will take place at the Arlington Knights of Columbus on Sunday, December 6 from 12 p.m.-6 p.m. at 5115 Little Falls Road.” [Event Calendar]
Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman