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COVID-19 Pandemic Blues Has People Buying Christmas Trees Early In 2020

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Thanksgiving is still a week away, but people are thinking about more than just turkeys. They are already tracking down the perfect Christmas tree. And that's not the only holiday tradition that is changing because of COVID-19.

People decorating for Christmas well before Thanksgiving is part of a national trend, and a lot of people are saying it's a tactic to chase away the pandemic blues.

Christmas always comes early for Ivy's Christmas Trees, and in the year 2020 a tree comes with a little extra.

"If people don't have a mask we are happy to give them a mask," said owner Ivy Speck. "We have our personalized hand sanitizers that everyone gets with our tree."

For the first time Ivy's Christmas Trees has launched a website offering online pickup and delivery for those who don't want to leave their homes.

But a new website and masks are not the only new things this year.

"It seems a bit busier because people are saying to us, 'We're stuck at home.' they want to buy early. They want to feel jolly and happy and merry," said Speck.

He said sales are up 50% compared to mid-November in previous years because normally most people wait a little longer.

"I'm usually like Dec. 20th," said Tiffany Tang. "This year I said I'm going to do it earlier this year."

She is also a first timer. She has never had a tree that wasn't out of a box.

"A lot of people say they have never gotten a tree before, but this year they're getting a real tree," said Bryan Lewis with Ivy Christmas Trees.

As coronavirus cases surge once again and cold weather forces everyone indoors during the darkest months, people are looking to add a little light.

"We're in the apartment all the time now," said Kyle Andrus. "It's something to look forward to."

It's a piece of normalcy when nothing feels normal ahead of holidays normally spent with family.

"I'm excited. I'm really excited," said Tang.

"It makes me a little happy and nostalgic thinking of the family and friends that I can't see this year," said Justin Martin.

If you're getting your tree early this year, be sure to put it in a few gallons of water for a few days before setting it up. That way, it won't dry out before Christmas Day.

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