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The trials and tribulations of a Year round Christmas Shop

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Posted 05-05-2011 at 05:15 AM by elf bazaar

I have been mulling over in my mind for a few days how to start this blog.
I dont want to write an epic adventure (unless Hollywood comes a knockin!), but I want to share with people a bit of the back round stuff which makes me the person who I am today, which makes my shop make sense!.
Now this being a Christmas forum having a year round Christmas shop will make perfect sense to many of you but to those who do not hold Christmas dear in their hearts, I am a crazy person.

So a little bit about who I am...
I was born and spent my childhood years in and around The New Forest and Somerset, England. moving when I was 12 to Brecon in Mid Wales.
Since then I have lived in Dublin, Ireland and Chicago, Illinois and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
I have travelled widely through mainland Europe and dipped my toe in the exciting distant lands of Malaysia.
But as they say "home is where the heart is" and my heart lies here in the Beautiful Brecon Beacons and this is where I have the greatest pleasure in running my own year round Christmas shop.
Well I say my own, A Christmas shop cannot be owned per say, its magic and energy comes from the people who walk through its doors and embrace the treasures within.
If I could indeed bottle and sell the awe and anticipation of those who enter my shop I may give Coca Cola a run for their money.

So why a Christmas shop?...
My parents worked very very hard to give my brother and I a good childhood, they were very careful with their money and rarely frittered it away on anything, if we wanted anything we had to wait until we either did jobs to earn money to buy it ourselves or our birthday or Christmas, so we learnt to treasure and value our gifts plus we learnt the art of patience and delayed gratification, hard things to learn but there seems to be a complete lack of it in many families today.
My parents adored Christmas and the build up would start months in advance with the making of the cake, normally made by my mother and I during the October half term from School.
This joyous day of making the cake and the excitement as the smell of it baking slowly filled every inch of our house acted like a trigger for me (and it still does to this day!). Once the cake was cooking I would start to prepare my bedroom I would cast aside my Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue tapes and on would go the Christmas songs and up would go the volume.
I would dig around in the wardrobe for my 5 foot silver tree which I would set up and then spend the rest of the day making decorations for it and things like paper chains to hang from my ceiling.
My parents would sneak little peaks during the day and comment about ridiculously early start to the festivities however, I knew that they were just as excited as I was and they would joke that when I was an adult my life would be filled with Christmas everyday.

Advent was the longest period in time ever, in fact I still believe my dad had the ability to stop time in December just to wind us up!!

When the big day did finally arrive it was as the song says "the most wonderful time of the year",
Santa would always bring me a sack full overflowing with gifts,trinkets and sweeties he was also incredibly thoughtful and on his way to bring our gifts would pop into the beautiful Children`s clothes shop and buy me the dress I had been dreaming of since the winter season dresses were hung in the window!. Every year he got exactly the right one.. the ever important Christmas Day dress (the one that makes you feel like a princess!)
We`d race down the stairs to see the tree lined with boxes and parcels and the lights twinkling and making pretty patterns on the walls.


My father passed away 6 years ago now and I am so thankful that nobody can ever take those strong heartfelt memories away from me.

In fact his passing and those memories are major keys to my life today, his passion and love for life especially Christmas has encouraged me to keep that spirit alive and turned a childhood family joke into a reality.

So Back to my life today, I am the very proud owner of my beautiful shop where I sell a multitude of wonderful and beautiful things, this being a fairly small town I have to boringly sell some non seasonal gifts to keep people coming through the doors who don`t see the joys and light of Christmas but it pays the bills in the quieter months!.

A lot of people in the town are sceptical about the life span of my little venture but I am just coming to the end of my first years trade and I am still standing.

Granted I will never be a millionaire but that is not the reason why mum and I opened the shop,
our little bit of magical happiness in a sleepy Welsh Mountain town....
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. I know what you mean. Though I don't have a Christmas shop, the fact that my parents were both so passionate about Christmas is probably why I love it so much !!! I bet your shop is beautiful !!!! I have always wanted to visit Wales and England. I don't think I will ever get to but your talking about them really made them seem so close by...Thank you again !!!
    Posted 05-05-2011 at 06:01 AM by caninemom3 caninemom3 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    elf bazaar's Avatar
    Thanks for reading its a bit of the ramble but I just wanted to share !
    I hope that people will read and enjoy
    Posted 05-05-2011 at 07:16 AM by elf bazaar elf bazaar is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Jeff Westover's Avatar
    It is terrific that you've survived your first year. I've seen so many year round Christmas shops come and go.

    I have a very detailed business plan for the Christmas-themed shop that I'd like to launch someday. I know it would be completely different than any thing that folks have seen.

    I'm just about $1 million short of launching it!

    So my hat's off to you. And I can't wait to hear more about your Christmas adventures in retailing year round.
    Posted 05-05-2011 at 08:32 PM by Jeff Westover Jeff Westover is offline
  4. Old Comment
    xmas365's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing a little bit about you and congrats to your first year.
    Posted 05-05-2011 at 09:05 PM by xmas365 xmas365 is offline
 



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