Christmas tree operation shutting doors after 52 years - KCTV5

Christmas tree operation shutting doors after 52 years

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HOLT, MO (KCTV) -

Come Christmas, Schmitt's Santa's Forest will stop selling Christmas trees to the general public.

The owners are shutting down after 52 years in business, and will sell their remaining trees to wholesale customers.

The Schmitt opened their business in 1961. They moved to 206 SE 209th St. in Holt in 1972.

The trees have adorned the homes of neighbors, the Missouri Governor's Mansion and even the White House.

One of their last trees will be an 11-foot fir tree that won a contest to become Gov. Jay Nixon's Christmas tree. It will be on display at the Missouri capitol.

Thirty-six members of the family flew to Washington to meet Bill and Hillary Clinton. On Nov. 28, 1994, a 30-foot blue spruce was cut for the White House.

"We sat on the furniture at the White House," Myron Schmitt said. "We had cookies with Mrs. Clinton."

Since those heady days, the farm has struggled with drought issues. The family members are reaching their golden years, and it's harder to keep up with the demands of a retail operation in a 24/7-world.

Schmitt family members said they will miss their loyal customers.

"It's sad because I've actually had people crying, who are making me cry. One fellow says I want to thank you for all the memories," Myron Schmitt said. "He says my daughter is a junior in college and she has never known any other place."

Santa's Forest will be open on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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