Here at Santa & Sons we have been using the same type of tree stands for over 30 years. With our stand exchange program, many customers who have been shopping with us for well over a decade, have only had to buy a stand once! For new customers, our stand themselves are typically unfamiliar and the exchange program even more so. So, we’re going to take the time to break it all down for you and hopefully answer any lingering questions you may have.
Let’s start with a bit of history on Christmas Tree stands shall we? Based off information I found, some of the first US patents for a Christmas Tree stand were by Hermann Albrecht of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As you can see, the stand that he was building looks quite different than the modern day stands we are used to. Though stands to hold Christmas trees had been around prior to this, in some form or another the main features remain the same. A sturdy base, heavy enough to help the tree not fall over, a reservoir to hold water and historically, a collar of some sort to hold the tree upright. In the late 1800’s cast iron stands, typically with images of Santa Claus or reindeer as you can see below. By far the most complex I found was this amazing stand that plays interchangeable calliope discs.
The next trend in Christmas Tree Stands included lithographed metal cones on the outside, and being wired for lights. These lithographed stands continued to be made into the 80’s. Due to the thin tin being easily dented or rusting, stands of this style that are still in usable condition are still highly prized by vintage collectors the world over. Unfortunately, like many of their cast iron predecessors, they also had a set collar size that limited the size range of tree they could hold. In the 1950’s commercial production of aluminum trees began. These trees were widely popular for a short time, usually paired with a rotating color light and having a built in stands that didn’t require any additional support.
After talking with Mark I learned a great deal more the rebar stands we use. For us at Santa & Sons, it all started back in the 80’s when Mark and Pat had set up lots in Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe Arizona. While selling trees in that area Mark came across the Tim Mitchell Yule Stand System that we still use today. Tim developed this stand mostly so that his tree lots in the hot aired climate of Arizona could stand their trees in water while being fully displayed. Not only do these stands help the trees stay hydrated during their time on the sales lot, the eliminate the hassle of trying to tighten the screws on the type of stand most of us grew up with.
It didn’t take long for Mark to convert Santa & Sons to solely using these type of stands. With their sturdy base, and large bowl each different stand could hold a wide range of tree trunk sizes without running into the constricting size issues of previously used stands that have a collar around the trunk. The switch could be hard for new customers as change usually is. Would they scratch their cars or floors? Of course not, each leg has a rubber cap to prevent floor damage. What if it’s crooked? Easy, just rotate the tree until it aligns straight! Do I have to water it every day? Not at all, after the initial large drink of water that trees need after their fresh cut, the extra large bowls on these stands can stay full much longer than other stands.
With the popularity of the stands established and considering how sturdy and reusable they were, Mark developed the Santa & Sons Christmas Tree stand exchange program. When you purchase your tree from Santa & Sons it already has stand on it. You then have three options. You can purchase this stand, have us remove the stand or you can exchange your previous years rebar Christmas Tree stand. When exchanging, customers walk into our lot and as soon as an employee sees them carrying a rebar stand, they approach, offer to take the stand and give the a small card to carry around while they shop. When the time comes to check out and purchase their new tree, all they do is hand the cashier their exchange card and they are able to take home a newly refurbished stand already attached to their tree at no additional charge! The stands that are exchanged are collected and hauled to the work floor in the back of our lot for inspection and refurbishment. Other than the solid rebar base each stand has a plastic bowl with a replaceable rubber seal and rubber covers for the end of the legs. Each returned bowl, as well as new ones we receive from our wholesalers are tested for leaks before being installed on their new Christmas Tree. Prior to being tied onto the customers vehicle or before delivery, the integrity of the rubber covers are inspected and replaced if needed
With the growth of our online Christmas Tree sales we wanted to make sure that those shopping from the comfort of their own homes could still benefit from our exchange program. When you are purchasing a tree online you will have the same three options, no stand on your tree, purchasing the appropriately sized stand which will be delivered on your tree, or exchanging your previous stand when we drop off your tree.
Now that you know all about our Christmas Tree stand exchange program you’re ready to come down to our lot or go to our site and pick out your tree! Still need a little help deciding on what type of tree to get? Good thing I already wrote a blog about that too!