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Sprucing up homes early

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Early tree buyers tend to include businesses, families who do a lot of entertaining or plan to visit relatives over Christmas, and people like the Lees, who just love Christmas and can’t wait to start the holiday season, tree lot operators say. “Friday was busy,” said Tina Callas, owner of Tina’s Trees. “We had some people who were just chomping at the bit.” According to the National Christmas Tree Association, about 27.1 million households purchased a real Christmas tree in 2004, up from 23.4 million in 2003. That doesn’t surprise Santa & Sons Christmas Trees lot operator Mark Rohlfs, whose bushy beard and long, flowing hair make him look like Santa’s younger, hipper brother. “I think a lot of people have tried an artificial tree and weren’t happy with it,” said Rohlfs, whose lot is adjacent to the Los Angeles Valley College campus in Valley Glen. “A lot of people are thinking, ‘We’ve got enough fake stuff in our lives.”‘ Stacey Nelson, 38, of Sherman Oaks was shopping Saturday for a tree with her husband, Charlie, 42, and their two children, Sophie, 6, and Chase, 4. “It makes it magical for the children,” she said. “It is an investment, but there are other things we’ll do without. The tree is the centerpiece, and we’re Christians, so Christmas is really important to us.” Local Christmas tree lot owners said trees will vary in price, depending on the size, kind and quality. Prices range from $15 for the smallest, most scraggly “Charlie Brown” tree to up to $750 for the very tallest, fullest tree. Many can be found in the $30 to $60 range. Nationwide, the average amount spent was $42.60 in 2004, up from $33.80 in 2003. “Noble firs are the Cadillac of trees,” said Scott Ponciano, who was helping sell them at Santa & Sons. “They’re the most durable trees we have.” That is why many lots are stocked more with nobles early in the season, with shorter-lasting trees coming later. And that’s why Courtney Waite, 31, of North Hollywood decided Saturday she would postpone her tree-buying. She stopped by Santa & Sons with boyfriend William Rustrum, 34, of Hollywood, who promised to buy her a tree for her Thanksgiving Day birthday. She wanted a smaller, cheaper Douglas fir. “The noble firs are gorgeous, but they’re too expensive,” said Waite. “I usually end up with a Christmas bush in my little apartment.” Lisa M. Sodders, (818) 713-3663 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With Thanksgiving Day leftovers still plentiful in refrigerators, some people Saturday were already purchasing their Christmas trees. Sherman Oaks couple Jenny and Sam Lee looked for the perfect Douglas fir at Tina’s Trees in Sherman Oaks with their 3-year-old son, Austin, who scampered in the straw on the sunny but blustery day. “I do love Christmas, and I want it to last as long as possible, and that means getting a tree early,” said Jenny Lee, 31. Said her husband: “Some people buy a tree a week before Christmas and throw it away a week later, and don’t get the chance to enjoy it. It’s the smell; it’s like living in the woods.” last_img

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