Hello, all my Christmas loving friends! Hopefully, you all got to attend our BIG ribbon cutting this last Friday in celebration of our 25th Anniversary year. A great time was had by all, and many great stories were shared about the store.
Watch the ribbon cutting on Facebook for a little of the reminiscing:
So, one of the Mark Roberts fairies and I got together to record s’more stories for posterior’s sake. (Yes. Much like the elf on the shelf, these fairies are creepily alive.)
So, how would you like to hear some Christmas tales? With cake, I hope. We have leftovers.
How it all started…
Mrs. C.’s mom travelled all the way from the magical and far away land of Nacogdoches to attend the ribbon cutting, and afterward said that her favorite story is about Mrs. C.’s first day working at The Christmas Shoppe. She thinks it’s soooo funny!
So, for the mom: Here’s the story of Mrs. C.’s first night on the job!
Back then, Mrs. C. was just Emily. Back then, Dickens on Main was more than one weekend. (As it’s becoming again! Read HERE for more on THAT.) Well, Mrs. C. – uh, I mean – Emily’s first night was on the night of a later in the month Dicken’s evening. We’re not sure exactly which one, but it wasn’t Thanksgiving weekend.
So, she wasn’t required to do much… look around, greet the customers, try to familiarize herself with the merchandise, sweep, and if anyone asks a question, take them to someone who knows the answer. This is the kind of stuff that made her fall in love with retail and The Christmas Shoppe.
Then, Michael said, “Hey! Do me a favor? I need you to stand next to this light switch until I give you the signal. Then, flick them up and down to get everyone’s attention!” No other explanation.
So, after a little bit of waiting, Michael signaled. Emily flickered the lights. And, Michael announced, “Attention everyone! We just had our one millionth customer enter the store! Come on up here. You’ve won a special gift including a trip to Jamaica!” Lots of cheering ensued.
The happy winners hurried over to Michael, and he produced a large gift bag for the winners to look in to. Emily couldn’t really hear any more because of the hub and bub of the evening, but she asked Michael about it later.
Turns out is was supposed to be a practical joke, and it went horribly wrong.
A friend of a friend of Michael’s asked him to help pull a practical joke on a family member. In this person’s family, they found unusual ways to pass around a very old fruitcake, basically tricking family members into taking it until the next year.
The prankster was supposed to poke his head in the door and point out the “winners” of the fruitcake. Michael would announce what he did, make them think they won a trip to Jamaica, and then present them with the bagged fruitcake. At that point, everyone would have a big laugh.
Alas, the prankster poked his head in the door and motioned to cancel the plans, which Michael interpreted as pointing to some random people who were not part of the family prank and ended up very upset that they didn’t win a trip to Jamaica.
Of course, Michael is the king of smoothing over sticky situations and gifted them with some pretty awesome Christmas stuff. Not Jamaica, but free stuff is awesome.
Did you like that? We have s’more stories.
Oh, wait! Farther back!
Holly from Haute Air Balloons did our set up the morning of the event. It turns out that long before Mrs. C. began here glittery career at The Christmas Shoppe, Holly had been an elf in the store!
She was just in High School back then and only worked on the weekends, but she remembered it fondly. Mrs. C. and she agreed that it was (and is) the happiest job ever.
Returning home covered in glitter is a perk, too.
Unfortunately, Holly had another meeting to attend and couldn’t stay for our big party. However, once an elf, always an elf! It was so much fun to chat with her while she worked.
This fabulous chai cake is from Melanie Murphy of Smooth Sweets! Why chai? Because Michael Giddens (the original owner of The Christmas Shoppe) and Mrs. C. have a not so secret love for the frozen blended chai lattes at Boerne Grill a.k.a. The Daily Grind, which is conveniently located across the street.
In fact, Michael introduced this amazing beverage to Mrs. C. In olden days, one of them jay walked over to get them at least once a week.
What is chai? I’m glad you asked! It’s a cinnamon-spice type tea that is served with milk or cream and sugar. To make the frozen blended ones, they blend scoops of instant chai mix with ice and milk until it’s like a fabulous cinnamon flavored granita! Add a dollop of homemade whipped cream on top, and it’s Christmas in the summer heaven.
Now, Michael can drink these things regardless of weather, but Mrs. C. prefers to only drink them when it’s not freezing outside. In the winter of the first year after discovering frozen blended chai, she (knowing that tea is served hot in other non-Southern-US locations of the world) ordered a hot chai latte. Ohhhh… it’s really good hot.
So, for a very long time Mrs. C. drank hot chai of a morn in place of coffee or as an afternoon tea time.
Mrs. C. kept the last two ribbon cutting ribbons. The first one is from 2010 when Michael & Shedell owned the business and rejoined the Boerne Chamber of Commerce after a little time away. The second one was in 2015, right after Mr. & Mrs. C. took over ownership.
Looks like we will make this a roughly every five year tradition with The Boerne Chamber of Commerce. So, we will be sure to do this again for our 30th anniversary. Speaking of which, we are not the oldest shop along The Hill Country Mile. Corner Cartel is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year!
After the ribbon cutting celebration, we put all three ribbon up at our register for everyone to see.
Did you know?
We could go on and on with s’more stories….
We like to keep things family-y around here. So, Mrs. C. has employed her husband, her daughter, her sister, and two nephews at various points over the last 6 years.
We are so family-y in fact that Mrs. C. regularly hires family groups. Her first hired elves were a pair of sisters, Marty (cutting the cake below) and Vicki. Most recently, she rehired college student Liz whose sister worked for Michael and Shedell, but when Liz started this fall, Mrs. C. hired her mom Sheri, too. Liz likes to keep it professional and refer to her mom as her coworker, which we all find hilarious.
Michael and Shedell started this family hiring tendency when they hired Terry and Bonnie from Boerne Printing to work on weekends. You see, our building was Boerne Printing before it was The Christmas Shoppe. Terry and Bonnie are now retired to enjoy their grandbabies, but continue to shop regularly
Even Sadie the elf has a sister working directly across the street for Pixie and La Te Da.
One s’more story, I promise!
This is the reason why we should one day be a Hallmark Christmas movie. Did you ever see You’ve Got Mail? It’s a movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It’s great, and it is incredibly similar to how Mr. C. and Mrs. C. met.
Before they were married, they were just Tony and Emily, of course. Emily was already working at The Christmas Shoppe part time. The inter-web thing was a fairly new thing back then. There wasn’t even a Facebook, but there were chat rooms.
Well, Emily had discovered a really funny comic strip while on vacation called Sherman’s Lagoon. It’s not in local papers, but Emily tried googling it and found it online. Back then, it had it’s own chat room. After year’s of just reading the comic, she pulled open the chat room.
The members of this chat room had the best posts! They played games and took turns adding to made up stories. They were as funny and whacky as the comic strip itself, maybe even more so.
Well, one chat room member by the name of Crabcakes was responsible for most of the really good posts and would greet each new person with a fun get to know you quiz. Not like the questions members of other groups would ask (remember a/s/l?), but really cool questions like, “If you had a pet electric eel, what would you name him? Sparky? Spot? Joe?… What’s your favorite color?… Do you like monkeys???” Emily really wanted to answer these crazy questions and after months of lurking, made her first comment as Trtlgrl.
Eventually, someone in the group asked everyone to share some very basic personal information and general location. The whole group was big into anonymity. Turns out that the group came from all over the world, including Australia, England, and Mexico.
Crabcakes and Trtlgrl were the only people within the southern half of the U.S. and both lived in Texas. Crabcakes did in fact turn out to be a “he” (thank God!), and he turned out to be only 6 months older than Trtlgrl, I mean Emily. Emily already knew he was funny and a Christian from his posts (and not the beat-you-with-a-Bible kind nor the faking-it-to-meet-a-girl kind).
It, also, turned out that he was soft-spoken, bearded, left handed, and half an inch taller than Emily, which were all things she was looking for in a spouse. No, really. She prayed for these qualities specifically.
After much time had passed, they began emailing… and phone calling… and eventually meeting. The rest as they say is history.
Carola the elf did have her retired police officer boyfriend check Tony out before they met. His main worry was that he thought Tony’s screenname was Mr. Cupcakes (instead of Crabcakes) and that sounds like a pedophile’s screenname.
Tony was delighted when he learned how much Emily loved Christmas and that she came home from work covered in glitter – he thinks it’s magical.
Not really. We hope the memories continue for generations to come. I hope we have inspired you to “Celebrate Always” (I Thessalonians 5:16) by sharing and recording s’more stories of your own holiday memories. Remember… it’s for posterior’s sake!
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