Giving the gift of Christmas to families without a Christmas tree


CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — It’s not Christmas without a tree! That’s how local farm owner Aaron Brungot sees it. So, Brungot Farms is doing some

thing to make sure any family that needs a Christmas tree this holiday season has the opportunity to get one, no matter their circumstances.

On Friday and Saturday, Brungot Farms will give all remaining trees to families for a donation of their choosing. The program is called Operation Christmas Spirit. The farm will be distributing trees from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday at the Twin Lakes YMCA in Cedar Park.

“We just want beautiful Christmas trees to be in homes,” said Brungot Farms owner, Aaron Brungot. “We don’t care if it’s a dollar or $10. It’s what you feel for whichever tree you want.”

The Becknel family purchased a Christmas tree from Brungot Farms as part of donation day. Everyone participated, including their new puppy.
(KXAN Photo/Brittany Glas)

The holiday season is a popular time to provide service to local community organizations that help millions of families across the country by providing them with toys and meals. However, it’s not nearly as common to see donations of Christmas trees for those same families.

The program brings Christmas trees and decorations to help families in need have the opportunity to make memories that last forever. The program exists thanks to donations.

The Becknel family just moved to Leander and is moving into their new home. They purchased their Christmas tree, just in time, from Brungot Farms as part of donation day.

“We always wanted to get a live Christmas tree and we were hunting around and then we heard you get a tree and donate whatever you had,” said Bryan Becknel. “So, that’s what we decided to do. It’s the right thing to do, in my mind.”

They came to the YMCA location specifically to donate to the cause.

“Hopefully it’ll do some good,” Becknel said.

The fundraiser, owners say, is about saving Christmas. “We have what we have left and they’re still beautiful trees. They’re healthy in water and we just want to find them a home.”

Alex Shelton, 7, is a "big fan of Christmas." (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

After all, what would Christmas be without a Christmas tree?

Seven-year-old Alex Shelton told KXAN, it would be “so, so ruined.” One of Shelton’s favorite things to do during the holiday is to decorate the Christmas tree.

“I really love putting on ornaments on the Christmas tree. I also like to help put up decorations outside of my house,” she said. “I am a big fan of Christmas. It’s the best holiday of the year!”

In 2016, the third consecutive year the farm has done the fundraiser, its goal is to reach at least 50 families who are less fortunate receive a Christmas tree. In just two years, Operation Christmas Spirit has provided 45 Austin-area families with Christmas trees and decorations.

This year’s Operation Christmas Spirit has raised more than $1,000 to benefit Lifeworks Austin. The organization provides counseling and other services for at-risk children. This includes providing them with 30 Christmas trees and decorations.

For more information about Brungot Farms and the company’s efforts to give back to the community, visit their website here. 

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