Saturday, October 22, 2016

A family-owned Christmas tree lot returns to Highland Park for another holiday season


HIGHLAND PARK — Chris Miali plucks a handful of pine needles from a Douglas fir in his tree lot at the corner of York Boulevard and Figueroa Street. He inhales the tree’s sweet, lemony aroma and slowly exhales, “I’m going to bottle that into a fragrance one day.”

The Miali family has been selling Christmas trees since the 1970s in Highland Park, with their Tahoe Christmas Tree company becoming a seasonal fixture in an otherwise gray parking lot. Chris’ father, Anthony, is semiretired now, but manages to shows up at the beginning of the season to help set up. Along with Chris’ son, Andrew, that makes three generations of his family that move trees in the holidays. The rest of the year Chris works at a supermarket. “This beats all of that,” Chris says surrounded by trees.

Something Chris prides himself on is that the location was once considered a quiet spot, without much traffic, which is why his father gave him the location. It’s a tough business Chris admits, and he has to stay on the lot in a camper throughout December. Though nothing compares to the wonder of watching a family pick their tree, which arrived the previous night from Salem, Oregon.

“Home Depot may have more trees, but they stockpile theirs in November and by the time December rolls around the trees are dry. Ours are fresh.”

Surrounded by his stock, Chris Miali at Tahoe Christmas Tree Company in Highland Park | Photos by Nathan Solis

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis’ stories, reviews and photos at Avenue Meander.

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  1. not culturally welcoming (to Jews, Muslims)

  2. Thanks for this story. I will definately give them my business now that I know they are a small, family owned business:)

  3. My dad, a Jew who married my Catholic mother, loved decorating our Hanukah bush!
    Clearly he was tolerant, classy and playful.

    Happy Holidays to everyone everywhere!

  4. Bleh
    The Christmas tree lot seems so tacky.
    Hopefully the forces of gentrification (invisible hand) will push them out of business and something useful will go in this lot.

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