Beautiful handmade 24” Vermont Balsam Wreaths
made with fresh Boughs, Pine Cones,
Holly Berries and red velvet
Only $24.99 plus $10.99 S/H. $11.99 S/H.
to have a variety of sizes, shapes and
price tags, and salespeople can’t be
pushy — customers want to feel that
they have chosen their tree. Vana found
that regardless of religion or ethnicity, a
family’s first child was inspiration to get
a Christmas tree, even for people who
never had one growing up.
“There’s a certain excitement
about getting ready to go down to the
Christmas tree lot, and planning your
inventory and price range,” Salo says.
“Years like this where it’s a little tougher,
do you bring more cheaper trees? It —
getting ready to do battle, as I refer to
it — can be fun, and I never take it for
6/28/11 4:34: 24 PM Hand-made from the raw milk of our purebred Brown Swiss Cows, starter culture, rennet and salt. TO ORDER: www.shelburnefarms.org Call 802-985-8686 Visit our Welcome Center & Farm Store, daily 10 AM - 5 PM 1611 Harbor Road Shelburne, VT Shelburne Farms Farmhouse Cheddar Award Winning! 6-Month 1-Year 2-Year Smoked Clothbound
Dressed in his hammed-up
Vermonter “uniform” (a Vermont
bumper sticker slapped on a T-shirt
worn over old cross-country skiing
clothes; wild, longer-than-usual hair and
beard), Vana found himself posing for
photographs and acting as an unofficial
Vermont tourism spokesperson and
the confidante of sentimental fathers.
Haggling over size and price wasn’t
uncommon (though at $15 a foot in
Brooklyn, that’s not surprising). In
that fashion, Salo likens himself to a
bartender: With emotions running
strong during the holiday season, he sees
a lot of joy, but sometimes customers are
down and share sad news.
But the adventure, income and fun
are worth it. Salo points to a time when
one of his salespeople received a $10 tip
from a person who looked at several
trees, but didn’t even make a purchase.
Vana received cash, but also unusual
tokens of gratitude, including a nice glass
of bourbon and tickets to see Wilco and
Neil Young at Madison Square Garden.
“If I weren’t in medical school, I’d try
to figure out a way to do it every year,”
Vana says. “It just felt good. There were
no bad parts of the experience, in that
not even the haggling customers could
bring down the joy of giving people a
little bit of Christmas spirit and cheer.” A
Call 800-542-1443 for a brochure, or visit
We also offer Fund-Raising.
Vermont Center Wreaths
P.O. Box 38, Newport Ctr., VT 05857
64 • vermont life