Albuquerque family celebrating 81 years at Christmas tree lot

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Ever since the Great Depression, generations of the Garcia family have been running a Christmas tree business in Albuquerque.

“We want to keep the tradition up because of the family traditions we have created,” said Rick Sanchez, who is part of the third generation working at the lot.

The lot, near Fourth Street and Paseo del Norte, was originally started by Tony Garcia. Garcia had just returned home from the Army in 1937. It was still the Great Depression and Garcia had no job and a thin bank account.

“He got the idea of cutting and selling Christmas trees,” said Sanchez.

Garcia spent decades building the business.

“He went all by himself into the wilderness and cut down his trees, loaded them, delivered them, set up his lot, and sold them to the Albuquerque area,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez says his grandpa even worked on the lot until his very last year back in 2014.

“Grandpa passed away four years ago and to keep that tradition going, it means the world to us,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez and some other family members now run the lot.

They have plans to turn an old shed into a Christmas shop and put Santa and his sleigh under an outdoor patio.

“Make it bigger, funner, better,” said Sanchez.

They are hoping that helps make up for what have been a few slow years. But when times are tough, Sanchez thinks of his grandpa.

“He said, mi hito we do this not for the money but for the smiles it puts on the children’s and the families faces,” said Sanchez.

The lot is open Sunday-Wednesday from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. The last day they’re open is Christmas Eve.

The lot’s address is 8826 Fourth Street NW.

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