Lose yourself here in the magic of Christmas. It’s not hard to do as everywhere you turn, you are allured to explore further, what you would like to share with your loved ones this holiday season.
Reviewed by Lorrie Holmes
When asked what Christmas means to store owner, Ed Holden, he offers, “I love Christmas. I personally like the good feelings it brings out in people. We are very fortunate to live where we do. I think most Canadians appreciate the peaceful lives we enjoy in this country, and these feelings come to the surface around the holidays.” As New Years Day rolls around, most of us will start packing up Christmas and focusing on the year ahead, but not here. After they put everything away and freshen up the entire store, Ed’s team of Christmas enthusiasts will be busy starting all over again, working on next year’s Christmas theme.
Our task is to create a magical experience that appeals to all ages and especially children, Ed reflects.
In order to offer this, Ed and his team travel to Christmas trade shows far and wide, looking for the latest décor and colours to display to their customers. “Once our research is done, we have an initial meeting with our head designer and decide on a theme for the store entrance and the area just inside the entrance,” Ed explains further. “This is a big decision as it involves hundreds of hours in decorating and thousands of dollars. It takes a number of meetings with all the designers to finalize. We change our theme every year.”
This year’s theme is The Secret Garden, and it’s so perfectly fitting since this classic children’s tale, authored by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is all about happiness and selflessness. Happiness takes place here when we start to think of others before ourselves. I felt lost myself inside this enchanted garden scene overflowing with flowers, trees, and all that twinkles and evokes the magic of this special time of year.
When asked what the new year will hold for him, Ed replies that he will start off with buying goods for the store right after the holidays. “I will head off to trade shows with our merchandise manager and we’ll be out of the country for two months. Once back, we head to shows in the US and Canada until the end of August. While buying, we’ll be looking for new toys and games, women’s fashions, books, gourmet foods, men’s gifts….” Ed pauses, then continues. “We shop the world for all things Christmas. We hope to provide an exciting fun experience for each person who visits our Christmas store. Our store is unique because it’s entirely devoted to Christmas. We’re the only store doing this that I know of, and certainly the largest in Western Canada. Our Christmas decor is tasteful and unusual – and we offer an unlimited selection of decorations that you won’t see elsewhere.”
When visiting the store, I was told that games and puzzles are becoming increasingly popular here because they are still an activity that brings family members together. This tidbit is, of course, perfectly fitting for us with our own CHRiSTMAS CONNECTiONS theme. Whatever you find on these shelves, you can be assured it will be unique and progressive as Ed and his team have certainly done their research about what their customers are looking for.
As we continued to develop our CHRiSTMAS CONNECTiONS editorial, we reached out to Potter Christmas Store and invited them to participate in an idea we had. This resulted in us being invited to come out and visit this Christmas store at which time they so generously gifted to one of our young reviewers by the name of Haylee, with a special tree of her own. The idea was something that she could enjoy when she wanted to spend time in her room, as most teenagers do. Don’t get me wrong, she still enjoys trimming the family Christmas tree and spending quality time in the living room with the rest of her family. This was just something extra that she could enjoy with her friends – and her cat – when they chose to spend some quiet time in her room. For her, this tree represents something a little bit extra that can extend the ambience of Christmas into her personal space. When we arrived for our tour of the store, we were greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide by the name of Kelly. She showed us around and helped our young writer pick out a tree and all the trimmings that went along with it. Kelly started by showing us the trees as a starting point.
There were so many options for trees including sizes, shapes and colours. From white to red to pink, and of course, the traditional green. Haylee chose a green one as she just loves the traditional colour. New to the teenage years, she wanted to created something magical yet understated for her room. Not too girly yet also not too grownup – somewhere in between… Something twinkly but relaxing. Speaking of twinkles, when asked what we should look at next, Kelly suggested lights.
Off we went over to the lighting department where we were greeted by more choices than we could ever imagine. Kelly suggested we start with the white lights and then accent with colours. White lights were perfect on their own and blended well with the fairy lights that are enjoyed all year long in Haylee’s room. Of course, for other kids and anyone who wants to be fancy or playful with their own tree, there are so many choices here for decorating your tree with lights. From the super playful toy themes to movie characters, to something a little more neutral like candles or stars: the choices here are limitless. There are also many light fixtures that can plug into the wall or stand on a table top, and even stand on their own as a decorative piece, anywhere in your room. Next, we were moving on to checking out the ornaments and tree toppers.
When asked what range of ornaments they carry, Kelly laughs. “Basically anything you can imagine. If it’s available anywhere, we have it.” With a line of over 60,000 themed ornaments – from fishing to skiing to equestrian, it’s safe to say they probably have something for any tree. For a topper, Haylee chose a simple cute which completed her tree with a playful and sweet tone.
Another popular book theme that we might suggest for another year is The Neverending Story. As you move from room to room and theme to theme within themes, you will be surprised over and over again by many unexpected finds. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to take this all in!
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS TREE REViEW
Considering everything that was made available to her, our young reviewer chose a 5 foot green tree. Right beside her bed, it stands beautifully, boasting neutral colours and magical twinkling lights. “I love the twinkling lights that go with my fairy lights that I’ve always loved. I decided to go with the darker bulbs and earth tones because for me, they are relaxing. Thank you Potter Christmas Store for bringing Christmas into my bedroom. This was really fun.” Haylee pauses as she looks over to her tree. “It’s pretty,” she adds with a smile.
THANK YOU AGAIN POTTERS CHRISTMAS STORE! WE ENJOYED OUR VISIT.
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