The Christmas Shop: Where it’s always Christmas
by Robert Gold
Cape Cod Times -- Dec. 24, 2013
SANDWICH – Intricate holiday wood carvings from Russia mix with hand-carved German pyramids and Swedish Christmas characters.
Glass ornaments of all sorts – ranging from snow globe winter scenes, decked out cowboy boots, corn on the cob and a frosty glass of beer – fill The Christmas Shop, a small holiday shop off Route 6A that dates back to the 1940s.
“It’s a happy place to come to,” the store’s owner, Yvette Armstrong, said.
The store dates back to 1944, she said. Armstrong, the shop’s owner since 1983, has had the business on the market for a couple of years, but she’s stayed open during that time. Armstrong said she will continue to run the shop until the shop is sold. Then she’ll retire.
“I’ve enjoyed it very much,” she said of her continuing career with the business.
The retail space is small, at 500 square feet, but it’s loaded with holiday ornaments and decorations.
Many customers will have to duck to get in the low hanging doors, but the place opens up once inside.
Armstrong started working at the store in 1976. After she became the store’s third owner, she further ramped up the holiday decorations at the shop.
With a tree fully decorated inside the store and the shelves stocked with thousands of ornaments, its theme is unmistakable.
“It’s kind of like a heaven right in Sandwich,” one shopper told Armstrong recently while making a purchase. “I see so many things that inspire me.”
The woman, a long-time shopper at the store, declined to give her name to the Times.
There’s much more than the shop’s many ornaments. It has nesting dolls from Russia. There are the German pyramids, revolving displays powered by heat from candles that turn a fan on top. Near the window, there’s a crowd of snowmen in various poses.
The store is open May through December. Business stays strong regardless of the season, Armstrong said, with the tourists keeping it busy during the summer.
Armstrong orders items that originate from several different areas, including throughout Europe.
“There is always something new,” she said.
Yvonne Adamonis, who has worked at the shop for 18 years, said the shop gets customers that come back every year for several years.
“They know right where to go,” when they enter the store, Adamonis said.
Despite being surrounded by Christmas and ordering ornaments for the shop for decades, Armstrong said the special nature of the season hasn’t worn off for her.
It’s just a magical time of the year,” she said.