Tradition is a big thing in Denise and Tommy Thompson’s household. For the last 16 years, and with the help of their family, the couple has created memories not only for themselves, but for many families in the area.
Thompson’s Tree Farm, located just off Prospect Road in Lawrenceville, is home to more than 3,500 trees that the Thompsons grow yearround. In November and December, the family welcomes those in the community to come experience the farm, pick out a tree of their own and take it home for Christmas.
“It’s always great to see the kids get excited,” Denise said. “We love seeing the kids come back year after year, and seeing how much they’ve grown. It’s really special for us.”
It’s family traditions like those of Ben and Jessica LaPointe and their two kids, Emery and Bailey, that warm the Thompsons’ hearts.
“This is our fourth year doing it,” Ben LaPointe said. “We always come here the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s become our family tradition.”
And the LaPointes got a special gift this year for the first time since they’ve been coming to the tree farm.
“This is the first year they’ve agreed on a tree,” the father said with a smile. “And that’s the one we got. Usually they can’t agree and I’m the one picking it out, so it’s great to see them agree on one.”
For Johns Creek residents Tina and Shawn Robertson, Saturday was the first time they came out to the farm, although Shawn had visited a few years ago before he and Tina were married. When Shawn mentioned the farm, Tina was on board, especially considering the fact that they have a 3-year old named Cole.
“We wanted to experience something more festive as a family,” Tina said. “Here, it’s more of an event. We get to cut down the tree ourselves, there are hay rides and a lot more.”
As for the tree they picked out, they said Cole got to pick out the tree; well, at least in theory.
“He picked out the tiniest tree he could find and we knew that wouldn’t work,” Tina said. “We prefer a bigger, sturdier tree to hang ornaments on, and one that doesn’t need much trimming.”
In the end, the family found their perfect tree and strapped it to their vehicle to take home.
For the Thompsons, seeing the excitement on kids’ faces as they take home the tree they want is exactly why they do this.
“It was always Tommy’s dream to have a tree farm,” Denise said. “He purchased trees in Michigan and brought them down here to sell, and really loved it. After he retired from UPS, we got this land with the acreage. My daughter told him, ‘Daddy, you get your tree farm.’ Since then, it’s been a labor of love.”
The labor of love extends to the family as well, especially to their daughter’s husband.
“When he asked us if he could marry her, we told him that he has our blessing if he agrees to help with the tree farm every year,” Denise said.
As the family welcomes those in the community to their home, they know that Dec. 18 will not be the end. Although it is the last day they will sell trees, come January, the planting of new trees happens and the cycle continues.
“It takes about four or five years for the trees to grow,” Tommy said. “Usually they grow 2 to 4 feet a year and we don’t tag them as being able to be cut down until they reach at least 6 feet.”
The tree farm is open Mondays through Fridays from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.