Wildfires impact New Mexico tree sellers, more ‘Charlie Brown’ Christmas trees in lots
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On the corner of Eubank and Snow Heights in Albuquerque you can find folks really getting into the Christmas spirit.
“I always have a real tree. Always, always, always,” said Marliyn Begay.
Marilyn Begay and Rhoda Baines were out trying to find their perfect tree.
“And the smell. You know the smell is really, I just love to smell when you come in, and you smell like cedar. And they’re fuller, you know? And I just felt like more like Christmas,” said Baines.
Fuller trees may be hard to find this year though.
“Christmas sales has been really good. The tough part is that the trees are more expensive because of the wildfires,” said tree seller Brenda Gallegos.
Gallegos and her family have been selling trees for five years now. She said they usually get trees from Mora but the devastating wildfires there this summer have caused issues.
“They’re not the best of the best, but the trees are good,” Brenda said.
They still got trees from Mora, but they also had to get trees from elsewhere in the state.
She said they’ve gotten a lot of “Charlie Brown trees”, very sparse and smaller than normal. But despite the higher cost for themselves, Brenda said they don’t want to raise prices for customers.
“We want everyone to have a tree, wanna make all the families happy, especially if they have kids. We’re hoping that the firewood sales would help us out, and the ristras were some pretty good on ristras. So that’s helping out,” said Brenda.
Folks have been understanding about the selection this year she said.
“We don’t want them to settle on a Charlie Brown tree, which some do like Charlie Brown trees, which is surprising,” she said.
Rhoda Baines was sold.
“I don’t mind a Charlie Brown tree. I had one last year, you know, because he was just sitting there by itself. I said ‘Oh, I’m going to take that one,'” said Baines.
But for Begay, not so much.
“No. I have seven boxes of Christmas items. No,” she laughed.