Displays inspire shoppers, some of whom buy several elements of a display, Merkel-Cox said. The shop carries many traditional and heirloom-quality items but also packs in some fun with a touch of whimsy and modern flair.
Many items in the shop can be personalized, including Christmas ornaments, Santa art, mugs, luggage, cutting boards and anything that can be monogrammed.
Jon Hart luggage is durable and is one of the many items that can be personalized, Merkel-Cox said. The luggage is made of coated canvas — the same material convertible tops are made of — and trimmed with English leather.
Jon Hart luggage is handmade in San Antonio and must be custom ordered. It takes about two weeks to arrive. In addition to luggage, Jon Hart also manufactures handmade totes and wallets.
A popular gift that’s affordable for most budgets are artist-designed Christmas dish towels made from flour sacks by Mary Lake-Thompson.
Christmas shoppers also love dolls by Hearts & Ivy. The unique characters are hand-crafted in Minneapolis by a group of ladies in limited edition groups.
Owner Donna Hamilton started with a single Christmas angel in 1993. Now, Hamilton and her crew create 70 styles in a neighborhood studio. The collection includes Santas, snowmen and angels.
Christmas Expressions also carries a variety of ornaments in various price ranges, including the Merkle Family’s Old World Christmas and Christopher Radko designs.
“These are ornaments to commemorate the moments of your life,” Merkel-Cox said.
The store also has cook books, baby gifts, lotions, creams, sorority gifts, fabric, jewelry and more.
“We do complimentary gift wrapping on purchases from here,” Merkel-Cox said. “Like any small business, those are the things that set us apart.”