December 5, 2022 By Carol Britton Meyer
The Hingham Bathing Beach has once again been transformed into a Christmas tree wonderland featuring Nova Scotia balsam firs of all sizes, from small ones for tabletops to 10-foot beauties.
The Hingham Congregational Church has been selling Christmas trees since the World War II era, currently about 1,000 a year.
Proceeds from the sales initially benefitted local community outreach programs, with the focus changing later to raising money for youth mission trips to serve those in need.
Participants in the next trip will travel to West Virginia, where the HCC high school youth group will lend a helping hand to repair the homes of people in desperate need of assistance.
The tree sales will continue through Dec. 19. "The prices are being kept reasonable so that all can enjoy [having a Christmas tree]," Amanda Cease, who is among those staffing the tree lot, told the Hingham Anchor.
"I work a lot of shifts at the tree sale, and I would say close to half of the people who come for trees tell me that they have been buying from us for many, many years -- even decades!" she said. "It seems to be very much a Hingham tradition."
The trees are on sale 24/7. The lot is staffed on the weekends and on the honor system during other times. Cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted.
When the lot isn't staffed, people can choose a tree, grab some twine to tie it to their vehicle, and pay via a QR code, which prompts them to enter a credit card number.
"The honor system has worked well for us through all of these years – helping us maintain faith in humankind!" Cease said.
When the tree lot is staffed, the HCC team cuts off as much of the trunk as needed to make the tree the desired height, and to allow the tree to "drink" plenty of water.
"If there is enough staff available, we offer to tie the trees to the tops of customers' cars, offering service with a very big smile!" she said.