Every year, merchants line up by sidewalks or truckloads to set up holiday trees in the neighborhood. But are prices too high this year? I chatted with Floridanda Sihel, a veteran vendor of a massive eight-foot Sidewalk Christmas Tree. She tells us the story.
Q: How much did this Sidewalk Christmas Tree this year cost compared to previous years?
A: This year, the prices went up. Not so much on the trees, I think they are OK. The fake trees are higher than they’ve ever been. In years past, they have been $5 to $10. This year, they are $10 to $15, the most I’ve ever seen. Most of the fake trees are $15. I’ve heard that was to up the market. Some people said they got $20 discount of them. But it is a big increase. Some of the trees at the market were sold for $10, so this year, they went up to $15, or $16, maybe $17.
Q: Any other trends among the vendors?
A: There’s a more artificial look now. It’s more of a stand for the tree than it used to be. You go to one of the marketplaces and you see more and more stand. In years past, the tree didn’t look very fake. If you were buying a tree in January, you would see some of the trees were being sold for $15. This year, you’ll see a lot more stand.
Q: What are some of the things you sell?
A: Everything. We sell trees, handmade wreaths. I’ve come from Peru for six years, so I sell a lot of wreaths. I know the American people like food, so I sell a lot of cranberries. And so a lot of the people sell the same products. They all come from America, Canada, South America, Africa.
Q: How are people’s reactions to your Christmas tree?
A: People don’t like it. They don’t want it that much. I sell seven different colors, and everyone always needs a different color. And last year, I sold them all, but this year I think they will come back, to $12.