Wake County man spreads Christmas cheer with free trees

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Wake County man wants to spread some extra holiday cheer by giving away free Christmas trees, but he needs help finding those struggling to afford them.

All season long, Joe Lux has been hard at work helping people find the perfect Christmas tree from his lot on Chapel Hill Road in Cary. It was the winter of 2014 when he first decided to try his hand at Frasier Firs. It didn't go exactly as planned.

"I bought too many trees. I bought wrong size trees. In your first year, no one knows you're there," Lux explained.

By Christmas, he was in the red. With too many crisp green trees sitting unclaimed, he decided to give them away. His mistake became an idea that's grown into something of a mission.

"It's one of the things we do at Christmas, buy a Christmas tree," Lux said. "But there are families all over the city who can't afford it."

This year, Lux ordered an extra batch of trees to give away from a small farm in Boone.

On Friday, he's selling what he can. Saturday, families who can't afford to buy one can pick one out for free.

"That's really what the season is all about - giving. And just helping those who need the encouragement during the season," said customer Jill Skidmore.

Lux said he's been in that position many years ago. His family couldn't afford presents, let alone a beautiful tree to put them under.

"I know the feeling of not having a Christmas tree at Christmas," Lux said. "I want kids and families to have those good memories. It's such a centerpiece of Christmas."

Lux says he expects to have about 60 trees ready to give away to families who can't afford one on Saturday. That's about $3,700 worth of Christmas trees.

You can find his lot at 8360 Chapel Hill Road in Cary. The free tree giveaway begins at 10 a.m. Lux said he'll stay until the last tree is gone.

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