The FINANCIAL — “Despite the economic crisis, sales of Christmas Trees in Georgia haven’t fallen and it is one of the most demanded products of the New Year,” Lika Giorgobiani, Products Manager of Hypermarket Goodwill, the biggest market in Tbilisi, told The FINANCIAL.
“Until now we have sold more than 800 fir trees, although most of the trees are supposed to be sold a week before the New Year. We already have discounts on most of the Christmas trees and are planning to run discounts for about 50%,” Tiko Giorgobiani said.
“People have mostly been buying artificial Christmas trees this year, they often choose fir trees that cost from GEL 80 to GEL 300 and are no longer than 2 metres. Big companies prefer to buy trees that are about 3 metres long and of course when the price conforms to the length of the fir tree. Maybe more demand on artificial trees is caused by the announcement of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Recourses forbidding the cutting of real trees illegally,” Nato Darchiashvili, Marketing Manager of Hypermarket Goodwill, declared.
According to the book Christmas traditions, the Christmas tree market was born in 1851 when Catskill farmer Mark Carr hauled two ox sleds of evergreens into New York City and sold them all. By 1900, one in five American families had a Christmas tree, and 20 years later, the custom was nearly universal. Nurserymen couldn’t sell their evergreens for landscaping, so they cut them for Christmas trees.
Nowadays the Christmas tree business is competitive. There are 33 million trees sold annually in the United States, and lots of smart competitors have replaced fly-by-night operators. Big-box stores such as Home Depot can order larger numbers of trees than North Star, pushing Home Depot’s cost-per-tree lower.
For the Georgian reality, the Christmas tree business is also quite successful.
“Because of the big demand, Hypermarket Goodwill offers its customers different kinds of artificial trees, we have only one sort of real coniferous Christmas tree which is imported from Germany. The prices of these real fir trees start from GEL 100 to GEL 150. People are satisfied with the quality of these trees and our accommodation,” Lika Giorgobiani, Products Manager of Hypermarket Goodwill, told The FINANCIAL.
“We import Christmas trees from Germany and Holland, sometimes we import from America too. The prices of artificial Christmas trees start from GEL 5 and can cost up to GEL 1,800, it depends on its size, lightings, cones and generally on its quality. This year many people have visited us to buy fir trees,” Giorgobiani declared
“Cutting down trees is limited by the Ministry of Environment Protection. The fine for illegal cutting is GEL 400 to GEL 500”, Ekaterine Bendeliani, Department of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Recourses, said.
“In different Georgian trading centers both real and artificial firs are imported from foreign countries and then sold in accordance with the law,” Bendeliani declares.
Christmas trees and Ornaments say the Christmas tree originated in Germany in the 16th century. It was common for the Germanic people to decorate fir trees, both inside and out, with roses, apples, and coloured paper. It is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to light a Christmas tree with candles. While coming home one dark winter’s night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home. He duplicated the starlight by using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree. The Christmas tree was not widely used in Britain until the 19th century. It was brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans in the 1820’s.
The Christmas tree has gone through a long process of development rich in many legends, says David Robson, Extension Educator, Horticulture, with the Springfield Extension Centre.
In the 1960s it was fashionable to have an Aluminum tree and all the same shape and colour ornaments. At that time many threw away their old ornaments from Germany.
It was in the 1980s that Christopher Radko brought back the old art of making glass ornaments for all to enjoy.
Written By Tako Khelaia