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  • Andrew and Bergette Hjertoos Farm

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  • Christmas in the post-war United States

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    New Orleans department store Santa Claus, 1954 Christmas in the United States during the post-war years (1946–1964) reflected a period of peace, productivity, and prosperity. Americans staged sumptuous Christmases and enjoyed a variety of holiday foods unknown to previous generations. Several films, foods, toys, and television programs of the era have become American Christmas traditions. Once reliant upon Germany for its ornaments, toys, and even its Christmas customs, America became self-sufficient in the post-War years with Christmas ornaments and toys being manufactured in the United States that were considerably less expensive than their German counterparts. American Christmas customs and traditions such as visits to department store Santas and letter writing to Santa at the North Pole remained intact during America's post-War years, but the era generated contributions that have endured to become traditions. NORAD's tracking of Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve, for example, was initiated in 1955 and has become an annual tradition.

  • Christmas tree cultivation

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    A Christmas tree farmer in the U.S. state of Florida explains the pruning and shearing process of cultivation to a government employee.Christmas tree cultivation is an agricultural, forestry, and horticultural occupation which involves growing pine, spruce, and fir trees specifically for use as Christmas trees. The first Christmas tree farm was established in 1901, but most consumers continued to obtain their trees from forests until the 1930s and 1940s. Christmas tree farming was once seen only as a viable alternative for low-quality farmland, but that perception has changed within the agriculture industry. For optimum yield and quality, land should be flat or gently rolling and relatively free of debris and undergrowth. A wide variety of pine and fir species are grown as Christmas trees, although a handful of varieties stand out in popularity. In the United States, Douglas-fir, Scots pine and Fraser fir all sell well. Nordmann fir and Norway spruce sell well in the United Kingdom, the latter being popular throughout Europe. Like all conifers, Christmas trees are vulnerable to a range of pests. The final stage of cultivation, harvesting, is carried out in a number of ways; one of the more popular methods is the pick-your-own tree farm, where customers are allowed to roam the farm, select their tree, and cut it down themselves. Other farmers cultivate potted trees, with balled roots, which can be replanted after Christmas and used again the following year

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