By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Getting a live Christmas tree from Coit's is a tradition many Oklahomans have enjoyed throughout the years, but that tradition was trimmed out this holiday season.
Usually around this time of the year, trees fill the root beer stand's parking lot, ready and waiting for a family to come by and take one home.
In 1953, the doors swung open at the first Coit's location in Oklahoma City.
"We found out pretty quickly that you couldn't just live on what you made in the summer months," owner Ann Coit said.
The business soon began selling Christmas trees they personally selected from farms across the country.
"We just kept buying the best we could find," Coit said.
Buying the best is what has drawn Oklahomans to Coit's on the holidays since the late 1950s.The sense of family bonding was what the late Don Coit loved.
"It worked out perfectly for over 53 years," Ann Coit said.
These days Anne's daughter D'anne Coit is busy working at the root beer stand side of Coit's, but also with answering questions.
"Lots of people are calling, mainly wondering where our tree lots are," D'anne Coit said. "They're looking for the Santa Claus and they can't find it."
The trademark Santa is now in storage, but the decision to put him there wasn't easy.
"I really hate that some of our customers are having to do without a Coit's Christmas tree this year," Ann Coit said.
While kitchen business remained steady, August's high gas prices equaled concern for Coit's tree business.
"That's when we order them and we have to pay for them before they ship," Ann Coit said.
The idea of shipping trucks of trees on steep fuel costs proved too much, which is why they chose not to buy.
Just because the trees didn't make it this year, Ann Coit said it's not the end. She hopes to be able to bring the tradition back next year.