Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tree-Cutting Tradition

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tree-Cutting Tradition

Article excerpt

It was a fragrant Saturday, scented with fir trees, popcorn and sugar-cookie dough, a holiday tradition for three young Westmoreland County families.

The Irons, Dembiczak and Blend clans, from Unity, Hempfield and Greensburg, respectively, loaded up their minivans with saws, ropes, diaper bags and cameras and drove out to Fleming Christmas Tree Farm in New Alexandria just in time for the 10 a.m. opening.

"It's been at least eight years," said Kelly Dembiczak. "Cutting your own tree smells so good, and the trees last longer. And we love trekking around that hillside, especially when there's snow."

The group got started at Penn State University 13 or 14 years ago, she said, and as each couple settled in Westmoreland, the tree- cutting tradition was born.

"It used to just be us three couples, but now it's an ever- increasing number of children," Dembiczak said. …

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