Did a Grinch steal Christmas trees from a Carson City tree lot Monday night or was it someone just desperate for a tree?
Bill Nichols and wife, Mariana Sepulveda-Nichols, found themselves pondering those thoughts when they discovered trees missing Tuesday morning from their Highway 50 East lot.
"I really don't hold any animosity toward them," said Bill. The couple, who live in Yerington, set up shop on a lot nestled between Thurman's Ranch House and 7-Eleven.
Muddy footprints marked a railing near where two 8-foot-tall trees once stood. Nichols suspects more than one person was involved in the heist.
"I don't know why they took the trees. If they took them because they are needy, I'm sorry for that," Bill said. "I'm more concerned about their life and their future than the money they took. It's sad to think that people have to do this."
"I hope it went to a family that really wanted it," Mariana said. "That would make me happy."
This year is the first the Nichols' have sold Christmas trees. Mariana said she woke up one morning and decided it would be fun. The duo drove to Oregon the first week in December to collect their Douglas fir inventory and, through the first storm of the season, they returned.
Mariana said she didn't realize how much joy she'd find in selling Christmas trees and vowed to be back next year.
It's the children that touch her the most.
What breaks her heart, she said, is when a mother comes in with her children and then realizes she doesn't have enough money.
After she gave a tree to a woman and her children at a steep discount Monday, the children shouted "thank-you" a dozen times as they left.
"To see those kids faces, it's worth it," she said. "That almost made me cry."
And even in light of the violation she felt when she discovered she'd been robbed, Mariana extended the offer to the community.
"If somebody wants to buy a tree and they don't have enough money, just ask. We'll give you the tree," she said. "That's the Christmas spirit."
Bill Nichols and Mariana Sepulveda-Nichols are offering to help those with little
holiday cash for a Christmas tree.
Stop by their lot, between Thurman's Ranch House and
7-Eleven and let them know.
"Just ask. We'll give you the tree. That's the
Ð Mariana Sepulvada-Nichols