In a look at the “weird and secretive world of Christmas tree salesmen,” Patrick Wensink asserts that the lots where the trees are sold, which “are awkward by design,” are a key factor in why we flock to buy them:
They normally spring up where rent is cheap: vacant buildings across from the train tracks, offseason fruit markets directly under a flight path, seedy parking lots adjacent to the downtown freeway. Try looking up one of these independent stands in your town. You can’t. They don’t exist online, except for a few regional chains like Jimmy Coan’s Papa Noel lots. The fact that they suddenly appear in these strange places is meant to grab your attention.
It’s a sales tactic that must work. Over 30 million Christmas trees are sold each year in America. At about $50 to $200 a pop, it’s become a billion-dollar industry. Those are quite likely just sales that are on the books because there’s something decidedly off-the-grid about tree slingers. You get the impression these guys probably have some bizarre resumes, if they have one at all.
(Photo by Flickr user *Bitch Cakes*)