Santa figurines, boughs of fir and angels line the walls of the Christmas Spoken Here shop. Judy Garland sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” as owner Barbara Persinger offers hot cider and gingerbread cookies to her customers.
“I listen to Christmas music all year,” said Persinger with a smile.
She and husband Roy, also known as “Doc,” moved to the islands 22 years ago from Wisconsin, where they operated a Christmas store.
“From the day I sold my shop I missed it,” she said recalling that there is a certain group of people who buy Christmas decorations and art even in July. “Those kind of people are special.”
Persinger should know since her enthusiasm for the Yuletide lasts all year.
“You mention Christmas and people smile,” she said. “I love the memories, legends, the lore and the history.”
Many of her treasures in her current shop were from her original store and have been locked in storage for more than two decades.
That is until Christmas Spoken Here opened in July of 2017.
Persinger wants to make sure people know that although the store is located in her home, it is indeed opened to all.
For her, working from home on 1021 Guard Street is a dream come true.
“I love working from home,” Persinger said. “I feel like an old English shopkeeper.”
Working from home is nothing new to the Persingers. “Doc” had a vet clinic for five years in their residence.
Their house was also once home to the business “Downtown Dog,” a doggie day care center.
Now the building offers new and vintage Christmas decorations and ornaments. There are various themes like nautical, angels, nativity, cartoon characters and woodland.
There is also a candy store inside the shop with imported goods from places like Holland, Scotland and Australia. There are 32 different types of licorice from all around the world.
Persinger’s visitors are also unique coming from as far as Armenia and as close as Canada. She has a guest book where folks can leave notes like, “I love it” and “So sweet.”
Tables and shelves offer treats like aniseed balls, ginger creams, Edinburgh rock, butterscotch, Belgium truffles and Holland marzipan.
Persinger proudly states that there are no artificial flavor, additives or preservatives.
“I’m proud of all my candy,” she said adding that sweets make the perfect stocking stuffers. You can also call in for mail orders at 360-378-9825 or 360-378-1808.
After Christmas the shop will offer other holiday decorations for Halloween, Memorial Day, the Pig War and more.