User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

38° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options


TEMPERATURE LOCATION | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Keeping Classic Christmas Alive

December 3, 2012, 10:10 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Keeping Classic Christmas Alive

With the recent drought and trying to keep up with the latest pre-lit artificial substitutes, the Christmas tree business faces many challenges. But a local man who's been doing the job for 24 years says, it's all about keeping the tradition alive.

"It's a good tradition to start. We did it when I was growing up with my family. It's just something the two of us, we wanted to start that. Something for our family someday," tree shopper Jessica Mydland said.

Bill Keizer started the Riverview Christmas Tree Farm as an early retirement business with his wife more than 20 years ago.

He trims about 12,000 of the trees by himself every year in preparation for the Christmas season.

"You have to do all of your business in about four weekends. So, you work all year for four weekends and hope that everything comes out right," Keizer said.

And even though there are about 16,000 trees at the Riverview Farm that need to be maintained and groomed all year round, Keizer says it's a tradition worth keeping up.

"It's a family tradition. We've seen now three generations out here, grandpas and the kids and the parents. And a lot of children that came a long time ago, now they come back and have children. So it's really a business about memories," Keizer said.

Like any businesses, they face their own hardships. Because of the drought, many farmers had difficulty with their crops this past year. Christmas trees are no different.

"I had to water quite a bit on the smaller trees. And it did cause some problems with some of the fir trees on the south side. But hopefully we'll get some moisture this winter, maybe next spring. So, it will all be okay," Keizer said.

The drought isn't the only challenge this business of Christmas cheer faces every year. Artificial trees have been cutting into the natural pine business.

"People I think have gotten away from the real tree because it's a hassle to put up. And maybe some of the trees that are brought in aren't shaked," Keizer said.

However there are a few things a fake tree just can't offer.

"We always like the ones that smell nice or the blue ones," Matt Mydland said

Keizer is helping keep the magic of a classic Christmas alive, a long with a few marriages, thanks to his great attention to detail.

"We shake our trees, get all of the dead needles, bird nests or whatever out of there. And we sell a stand that we drill on a machine. And they just pound on with a big water bowl. So easy, one fellow said I saved his marriage," Keizer said.

And his customers notice this special attention to detail.

"Now he's going to haul it back for us! Which is even better," Matt said.

On average, Keizer sells about 300 trees a day during the Christmas season.

Research done by the National Christmas Tree Association shows that 30.8 million real trees were sold last year compared to only 9.8 million artificial trees sold.

Previous Story

Next Story




View featured stories

You may also like

Unsolved Crimes In Sioux Falls

11/23/2015 10:09 PM

If you've ever been a victim of a crime, you expect someone will be arrested and pay a penalty. But you might be surprised at how many times ...

Full Story
Hiding Messages In Plain Sight

11/22/2015 9:58 PM

Podhradsky says encrypted communication channels use custom-built languages for speed and security which eludes investigators.

Full Story | Watch
Pressing On: Mary's Strength

11/20/2015 10:15 PM

Some people are homeless because of the decisions they've made. 51-year-old Mary Skye is not one of those people.

Full Story | Watch
When Help Can't Wait

11/18/2015 10:18 PM

Paramedics Plus earned the approval of the city council this past February and will serve the city for the next five years.  The service works a ...

Full Story | Watch
GEAR UP: Promises Made, Never Delivered

11/24/2015 10:15 PM

Millions of your taxpayer dollars have flowed into South Dakota all for the purpose of getting Native American students ready for college and helping ...

Full Story | Watch