In this edition of Getting to Know, Connoisseur of Conifers Alex Enyon stopped to chat with the woman who runs the Christmas tree stand on Broadway between 111th and 112th. See anyone around campus you’d like to know about? Tell us!
Molly Hatfield has Christmas in her blood. The cheerful mother of two grew up around her father’s Christmas tree stand, and at age nineteen she took over his current location on Broadway between 111th and 112th Streets. For the past nineteen years, Hatfield has been making the trek to this strip of pavement and opening her stand for a month leading up to Christmas. The hours and conditions are grueling—Hatfield’s schedule is divided evenly between “sleeping and trees;” she arrives at the stand at seven or eight in the morning and spends the twelve to fourteen hours guarding and selling her pines, rain or shine. Another brave soul watches the trees and meets deliveries at night.
Despite the tough schedule, Hatfield insists that the people she meets in the community make her job rewarding. “People usually are wonderful”, she declares, although she admits that she’s encountered her fair share of scrooges. She also pointed out that “about two-thirds” of her customers are regulars who return year after year, and their relationships have become an ongoing tradition. Hatfield recently saw one of her favorite client’s son, who had helped her with her trees for a couple of years, start his own stand.
When asked how she celebrates Christmas, Hatfield laughs and admits that she harbors a “love-hate” relationship with the holiday. Her personal festivities are always “late and low key.” Not making a big deal over material things, she says that arriving home to her husband and children after a month away makes the holiday very sweet indeed.