Christmas tree buying in full swing at Mr. Jingle’s
In its fourth year in La Jolla, Mr. Jingle’s Christmas Trees has become the spot for locals seeking a little, or even up to 15 feet, of Christmas cheer.
Noble firs, with their varying heights and sturdy yet elegant structure and appearance, have over the years become a favorite Christmas tree choice for La Jollans, Mr. Jingle’s manager Cristian Valdez said.
“We have them anywhere from the Charlie Brown style,” Valdez said as he pointed to a tree perhaps no taller than a couple of feet, “to the big boys right there. With these homes with high ceilings, it makes it perfect for a tree like that.”
The 5-foot and 7-foot Noble firs sell the most, but the annual provider of Christmas trees, located from late November until just after Christmas at 6710 La Jolla Blvd. — between Playa Del Sur and Gravilla streets — said it carries varieties suitable for all traditional Christmas tree tastes.
Douglas firs, Grand firs, Nordman firs and those Noble firs — all are available at his lot. Which one a customer chooses could depend on how “bushy” he or she likes the tree to be, what shade of green is preferred, and whether a higher tendency for pine needles winding up on a tree’s skirt is acceptable. Douglas firs, for example, have a darker green color than their Noble cousins, and a fuller appearance with a stronger conical shape, he said, but more shedding can be the inevitable result of a Douglas fir’s thicker arrangement of branches.
Mr. Jingle’s operates three other locations around San Diego: one in Balboa Park, one at Westfield Horton Plaza and its newest location in Encinitas. With the opening this year of the Encinitas lot, Valdez said, the La Jolla location gained some relief from loyal patrons who used to make their way south for the company’s trees.
But even with multiple sister locations serving customers to the south and north, La Jolla’s Mr. Jingle’s still draws regular customers from out of the area. Sean and Deanna Winchell of Mission Valley purchased their 5-foot Noble fir from La Jolla’s Mr. Jingle’s on Dec. 4. Full of smiles, the two explained that their wedding was just days away, making the upcoming Christmas their first as a married couple.
“I’ve actually come up here a couple years in a row,” Sean Winchell said. “I bought a Groupon two years ago, and I really like their selection of trees, so I came back.”
As of the end of business on Dec. 2, marking the lot’s first full week in operation during this Christmas season, La Jolla’s Mr. Jingle’s had sold 255 trees. The weekend that followed was expected to mark the lot’s busiest days.
“The La Jolla Christmas Parade — we’re just around the corner from it,” Valdez said. “That drives in a lot of people, before and after the parade.” In preparation for such an expectedly busy weekend, Mr. Jingle’s received on Dec. 4 a shipment planned to drop off 500-700 trees, depending on what could fit in the roughly 1.2-acre lot’s available space. That shipment added to the roughly 256 that were already in the lot’s inventory.
Valdez said that during the weekends of Dec. 4-5 and Dec. 11-12, he would expect to sell between 150-250 trees each day, perhaps more.
Throughout the tree-selling season, which could actually extend a couple of days beyond Christmas, Mr. Jingle’s expects to have stocked its lot with up to 2,500 Christmas trees, worth between $10 and $14 per foot.
With several sales employees on staff, the busiest times at Mr. Jingle’s are definitely over the weekends, salesman Lou Taylor said.
“All day Saturday and Sunday, and on the weekdays in the evenings,” Taylor said. “You want to come in between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the weekdays. That’s a good time to come in, just take your time, browse around without being in the middle of that mix.”
More than trees, the business carries accessories and decorations, from tree stands and traditional light sets to the relatively new addition of ground-mounted laser lighting that can brighten an entire yard or home’s façade with variations of color.
Also popular with La Jollans, Valdez said, are the tree trimmings left over from the post-sale grooming of their own trees, which can be used to further decorate a home. Some customers, he added, come by the lot not to pick up a tree, but just to select some of the day’s freshest trimmings, which are all provided free of charge.
“They give the house more of a Christmas feel, on top of having a tree (that’s) decorated,” Valdez said.
For those who misjudge the tree size they need — perhaps buying a tree too tall for their ceilings — Mr. Jingle’s allows customers to bring their trees back for shortening, also at no additional cost, Valdez said.
A tree that’s cared for well, he added, can last and look good from Thanksgiving through Christmas, and even into January, for those who celebrate holidays like Three Kings Day (Jan 6). Additions to the tree’s water, such as a freshness-extending solution sold at the lot or even half a pill of Aspirin, Valdez said, could help the tree better absorb water and keep it looking better for a longer time. “It does wonders,” Valdez said.
Delivery of trees is available, he added, with charges varying depending on distance. Within the 92037 ZIP code, deliveries from the La Jolla lot can cost between $25 and $30, while deliveries outside of the 92037 ZIP code are typically $40. For more information on what Mr. Jingle’s offers, visit mrjingleschristmastrees.com/pages/la-jolla
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