Christmas tree businesses did a roaring trade on the first weekend of December, with some saying 2020 is looking to be the busiest they've had.
More people staying home for Christmas, a greater sense of environmental responsibility and a need to "get the year over and done with" are some of the reason Wellingtonians are buying more Christmas trees, they said.
Freshnbushy Christmas trees co-owner Mitchell Campbell said it was the busiest year he had seen in 27 years.
Their sales were up 50–60 per cent on last year across their six sites around Wellington, and he believed some of that was to do with coronavirus.
"We've found that a lot of people just want to get the tree up and get this year over and done with.
"Covid's definitely had a massive impact on everyone wanting to do that."
"There's [also] a lot of people who normally travel overseas who are now having Christmas at home."
Separate from Covid, he also thought there had been a movement away from plastic trees towards real trees as people felt nostalgic for the Christmases of their childhoods.
"I think a lot of people are leaning back on that tradition of having the real tree and having that smell and just wanting to go back to a really pleasant time," he said.
"Based on the last few years we really have changed as a society in how we do impact the environment by being so wasteful.
"For the most part we have a lot of people who are just going back to those grassroots of 'Well I had a real tree when I was younger and it was just a really nice happy time'."
Freshnbushy Christmas trees has its farm in Ōtaki and sold trees across six sites in Wellington.
Real Xmas trees owner Nathan Wilton had been in the business for 30 years and said Christmas tree sales last weekend had been at least 25 per cent up on an equivalent weekend in 2019.
He said the challenges of 2020 had probably made people eager to finish the year on a high.
"That's our theory behind it this year, the whole Covid," he said.
"Everyone's staying home and a lot of people are having early Christmases with family members coming in so they're just looking for that tree for family they haven't had around."
Real Xmas Trees had a farm in Sanson but also had sites in Palmerston North and Wellington where people could come and choose their tree.
The farm did not have a tagging service – every tree on display was available – and said there would still be plenty in the lead-up to Christmas.
"We've got plenty of trees at the farm, our constraint is more on getting them to Wellington in time for everyone.
"We won't run out, there's plenty of trees here."
Campbell said customers should have no concerns about a tree not lasting until Christmas if bought early - they just needed to be looked after properly.
The most important thing was that it didn't run out of water, he said. A 6-7 foot tree would go through 3-4 litres in the first 48 hours.