Many women love to decorate their homes for Christmas. A few men enjoy it too. However, I find men relish lighting up the outside of their homes, while women love to beautify the inside. They love to welcome their guests with entryways adorned with greenery and charming Christmas accents, rooms with decorated trees and pretty packages to be opened, and kitchens with holiday dish towels and homemade treats ready to be shared.
Although Christmas is the grand-daddy of them all, it’s not uncommon to see more women decorating their homes for other holidays. If you are one of them, as a friend, I’ve got a not-so-secret secret I’d like to share with you. So grab a fresh baked treat and some warm hot chocolate, as I impart to you some wonderful news. There’s a year-round holiday store where you can get your “happy fix” any time of the year.
Traditions Year-Round Holiday Store opened its doors in 1994, a few months after the Northridge earthquake, which rocked California with a magnitude of 6.7. That’s important because the store would have lost many delicate and fragile items, so their timing was…let’s say ideal, since earthquakes are unpredictable. As a family owned business, owned by mother/daughter team, Barbara and Debi Thomas, they tested the concept five years earlier to see if there was a market for it. At the time, Barbara and her husband Gary owned a grocery store. In October of each year, they would clear an area of the store and bring in holiday decorations, which also included handmade items made by the family. The customers loved it and they sold out each year! Meanwhile, Debi owned a catering business and needed to cut back the hours she was working due to health concerns. Opening a holiday store seemed like the perfect solution for the Thomas Family.
They rented a 2,700 square foot space in a nearby strip mall. They began selling antiques and Christmas items, but soon realized there was an opportunity to offer merchandise for all the holidays, so they narrowed their focus to strictly holidays. They wanted to be the place their customers would turn to when they were shopping for a particular season. Many of their dedicated customers were collectors and loved the holidays, so they shared a passion together. In fact, the Thomas Family spent family vacations traveling through the western states with a focus on visiting all the Christmas stores and bakeries in each town. Now people visit them!
© Photo provided by Traditions
Walking through the front door of their now 4,000 square foot store (with an adjacent 11,000 square foot warehouse – yes, they’ve grown), one is captivated by the amazing collection of Christmas trees that fill the interior. Or are those Easter trees…Halloween trees…or Thanksgiving trees waiting to be admired? Actually, they’re all of them and more. Throughout the store, you’ll find 44 trees of all sizes decorated for all the holidays. As you wander around, the transition appears seamless as you move from one holiday to another viewing table top, floor, and wall displays, along with a fully adorned tree. Each tree is themed and embellished with glass ornaments that complements the overall theme. You’ll find dancing ballerinas and an evil Mouse King on the Nutcracker themed tree, which is one of their most popular themes. Colorful flowers bursting from the top of another tree, with bugs, gardening tools, and various fruits, vegetables, and flowers that bloom year round. Just a few feet away you’ll enjoy a full harvest, along with pilgrims and Indians waiting to celebrate Thanksgiving with you. Our founding fathers would be proud of the patriotic tree with its red, white, and blue décor. There’s something here for everyone’s budget, as they offer products in various price ranges. Just don’t let the Halloween décor scare you away. Its turned many holiday shoppers into collectors. In fact, according to Traditions, Halloween is becoming a close second in total sales (Christmas still being number one) as more people feel enticed to spend money on this holiday. So beware, you just might get bit by the bug…or should I say spider!
Traditions also carries vintage and nostalgic items that transfer people back in time. In fact, they love vintage décor and carry it for every holiday. They work with various suppliers and established artists, as well as with American folk artists for handmade products, so they can offer their customers a truly unique collection. They carry Bethany Lowe Designs, Glitterville Collections, Lori Mitchell Folk Art, Joe Spencer figures, and many more. This sets them apart from all the big box stores with their mass market appeal. At least once a year, they host an artist signing where many collectors come from all over the country to visit the store and meet the artist. This event typically takes place the first weekend in October, but check their website or call their store for further details.
If you don’t live in the Southern California area, you can purchase many items online. To help their customers visualize how some items complement one another and to capture a similar feeling of shopping their beautiful “brick and mortar” store, they’ve displayed their products in different vignettes. Here the online shopper can experience the holidays and discover ways to decorate their homes or purchase gifts for friends and family. Collectors can add to their collection with a click of the button. Since they carry all the holidays year-round, Debi says, “It’s not unusual to sell an item from each holiday every day, whether online or in our store!” I guess you could say for Traditions Year-Round Holiday Store the familiar winter greeting “Happy Holidays” could be stated year-round!
© By Sheri Lamas