J.J.’s Christmas Trees Sells More Religious Decorations this Christmas

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Christmas, Faith, Inspiration, Media, Nativity, Nativity Scene, Queens, NY

By Jessica Easthope

The shelves look fully stocked, but the staff at J.J.’s Christmas Trees says the store is empty. Supply chain issues put a kink in their inventory – but sales are up – and the items flying off the shelves go much higher than reindeer.

Maria LaRosa has been the manager at the Dyker Heights store for three decades. She says this year, more than any other, she’s selling more religious than secular decorations.

“They’ve never really asked for them before as much as they have now and because of the pandemic and losing so many loved ones, everyone’s looking up to God and going back to their roots,” Maria said.

Sales on religious items are up 20 percent. The store started with 24 small nativity scenes and now they’re all gone. When they opened on Black Friday, they had around 20 large nativity scenes that were costing a pretty penny: An outdoor nativity goes for $400.

But Maria says people are willing to pay the price of keeping Christ in Christmas.

“There’s always Christ around at Christmas in our house,” said customer Christine Anant.

Christine was shopping for a cross to put on her parents grave. She says her home is already full of religious decorations – and she can see why others would want the same.

“I think that needing your faith more would be validated by having these items around and on the top of your tree,” she said.

Nick Badolato was browsing for some validation of his own after turning toward his faith during the pandemic.

“It really brings it home, especially what’s happened the last year and a half or so,” he said, “so I think a lot of people are looking toward their faith and looking around for items that bring us closer to the reason for the season.”

Buying these decorations might make customers feel closer to God – Maria says she feels that way just selling them.

“I’m born and raised Catholic and for the last few years,” she said. “You don’t go to church, and now, I think I’m going to go back.”

Maria says next year she’s planning to stock up on more religious items after learning this year what people want and need.