Working at a Christmas shop is a pleasure rather than a chore for Margaret Hastings. Oamaru Mailreporter Daniel Birchfieldspeaks to the Riverstone Christmas employee about the festive season and how people have been spending their hard-earned cash ahead of the big day.
Q: Has it been busy lately?
Oamaru has never had a Christmas shop before, so it’s been very popular. People have been coming in from out of town and through word of mouth.
Q: What items have been most popular?
We bought some light lanterns and they have been very, very popular. Lights and Christmas trees have been, too, especially fibre-optic trees. Our light-up Santas and reindeers, and street lanterns, have been too.
Q: Do you think the buzz around Christmas is starting to build in Oamaru?
I think so, yes. There is a lot of people around in town and since we opened in October, we have been really busy. Flat out some days.
Q: What’s the best thing about working at a Christmas shop?
When people come in and say what a lovely place to be in. They don’t have to come in and buy anything – it just lifts their spirits, really. They love trying things out. With the musical things, for example, we don’t mind playing with those and trying them out. It makes us happy too and we have some really lovely customers.
Q: Do you get a lot of people just coming in for a look just out of interest?
Yes, we do. They just like a wander through.
Q: What are the quirkiest Christmas items that you have got?
Well, there’s a solid light swag that has about eight different lighting patterns. One that’s a bit different is the triangular fold-up Christmas trees and the pop-up Christmas trees. There actually is quite a lot of interesting Christmas things around these days.