In Dracut, you know it’s officially the Christmas season when Lily Mack Farm has its trees and wreaths on display.
On November 26 – the day after Thanksgiving – the Guthrie family started their 11th season running Lily Mack. Ryan and Christi Guthrie purchased the farm at 702 Broadway Road, from the former owners of Broken Wheel Farm, which lay fallow for about eight years before the Guthries decided to buy it.
They named the farm after their first two children, Lily, now 13, and Mack, now 11. A third child, Michael, 9, came along a couple years later, but by then it was too late to change the name to Lily Mack Mike Farm.
The kids’ youth doesn’t get them off the hook. On the farm, everyone has to pull their weight.
“They’ve been slingin’ trees for years,” Christi says. “They love it. Michael bosses everyone around. He thinks he owns the joint.”
The Guthries bought the land despite having no farming experience. Ryan is a contractor, Christi a real-estate agent. But Christi (maiden name Enwright) was born and raised in Dracut, and her family were regulars at Broken Wheel, so they decided to give it a go.
“I grew up coming here,” she says.
Now 11 years later, the farm has become known for its Christmas spirit. In addition to trees and wreaths (sorry, kissing balls sold out on opening day), the barn is loaded with holiday-themed decor and gift ideas handcrafted by Karen Apostolakos.
Christi says the news about a shortage of Christmas trees is true and that the farm received about 130 fewer trees than in years past. They only sell Fraser Premium firs, and the biggest ones sold out over opening weekend. You can still find trees 7 to 12 feet tall, but don’t wait too long.
Lily Mack Farm opens only for the Christmas season – Monday through Friday, 4 to 8; Saturday, 9 to 9; and Sunday, 9 to 3.
“Everybody wants us to stay open year-round but right now, it’s just not possible,” Christi says.
Lily Mack Farm features a Letters to Santa mailbox as well as a mailbox for letters to soldiers. Drop them in, and the Guthries will see that they’re delivered.
And if kids want to meet Santa, not just mail a letter, they can come Saturday, December 4, from 1 to 4, when the Jolly Old Elf himself will be at the farm.
“We have an awesome Santa,” Christi says. “It’s the same Santa they have at Children’s Hospital. There’s no charge – we just ask for a donation to the Special Education departments at Dracut and Tyngsborough schools.”
The family is also very community-minded. Each year, they donate trees to the House of Hope, a shelter for battered woman in Lowell, as well as to other organizations. They also donate to the Dracut Scholarship Foundation.
Visit Lily Mack Farm on Facebook, www.facebook.com/lilymack.farm, or call 978-726-3115.