Around The Town, Oregon
by Jeanna M. Olson
IF there’s one thing the end of November reminds us, it’s that there are only 25 shopping days left until Christmas.
Linda Pollock of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce points out that there’s some great holiday shopping right here in town.
How about a tin of Cinnamon Licorice Reindeers or a tailgate mini grill? Look no further than the Oregon Pharmacy at 815 N. Main. You can’t miss the floor to ceiling upside down Christmas tree.
They have finely crafted linens, quilts, runners, doilies, and table covers. There’s an array of candles, collectibles, fragrance lamps, mulling spices, soups, ornaments, angels, and regional team merchandise. If you’ve been looking for a Packers shot glass to go with their season, you’ll find it here.
The items are hand picked, and many have a Wisconsin connection or back story gladly shared by gift manager, Chris Meicher. Take the Papa Pat’s Farmhouse line from the Hodan Center in Mineral Point. The mixes, soups, sauces, jams, butters, and relishes come from the Hodan rehabilitation center, and go a long way to provide jobs for people with disabilities. There are gourmet coffees from Door County with special seasonal and holiday blends such as Candy Cane, Gingerbread, Door County and White Christmas (the white part is vanilla ice cream) blends. Apples of Eden sweets are made in Greendale, WI, and the nationally known Rhyn-Rivét ornaments are from Brooklyn. (Rhyn-Rivét has a special line partnered with the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, helping people with Alzheimer’s.)
If you’re thinking angels, Christmas or otherwise, there are Susan Lordi Willow Tree and Jim Shore Heartwood Creek figurines. The two couldn’t be more different, yet both are intricate and unique.
Did you know that beanpod soy candles are said to burn cleaner and last longer than paraffin, and there’s a candle called WoodWick that crackles like a fire when lit.
If the Oregon Pharmacy’s floor to ceiling upside down Christmas tree makes you long for something a little more right side up, then take the short way to Tipperary (just off Lincoln) and Hann’s Christmas Farm at 848 Tipperary Rd.
Their silo is wrapped in garland and Mr. and Mrs. Santa visit on busy weekends. Even if you already have a tree, there’s a Christmas Store gift shop with many, many ornaments, two giant wreaths nine feet in diameter, and a made to order while-you-wait wreath shop. There’s also cider, popcorn, and new this year, a mini maze. Greg Hann planned a four or five foot maze tall enough for kids to play in, but short enough for parents to find them.
Although this is the kind of place where you’re given a handsaw to cut down your own tree, if you think the words hand and saw should never be combined with the words “Here’s your,” the retail Christmas tree lot is in the large barn directly across from the store.
Did you know your Christmas tree could live indefinitely, even if you chucked it in the front yard without water? Greg isn’t suggesting this, but he’s got all sorts of interesting tree facts.
“Balsams came down from the east coast Canada side, and the Frasers came up from the Pennsylvania side,” says Greg. “They cross pollinate and that’s really what the Canaan is. They have double needles, and needle all the way to the trunk. They’re pretty that way. ”
So you have your tree, and retrieved the kids from the maze, will you find ornaments to do it justice? Step inside the Christmas Store. The ornaments are fun, sweet, nostalgic, ornate, plain, fiber optic, large, miniature, and plentiful. There are stars, angels, gingerbread men, snowmen, tractors, tree toppers, stockings, and nativity scenes. The Hanns have to stock up for November and December a year in advance at a Chicago gift show in January for this.
If you have something different in mind, then back to the Oregon Pharmacy or on to the Rhyn-Rivét website at rhyn-rivet.com. That’s where you’ll find the porcelain china ornaments made by local artists Catherine Rhyner and Marilea Groves (lead artist).
“The big things in the collections this year are the two new pieces,” says Catherine.
They were down to their last two dozen Kelsea’s Songs (named after Marilea’s daughter who plays the viola), and one carton of the other piece, Hi There (a snowman), before Halloween. They had to do a quick mailing last month to keep everyone updated on the brisk sales.
There are plenty Rhyn-Rivét collections to choose from. Chris from the Oregon Pharmacy notes her customers often want cardinals from the Avian Collection.
“For the cardinal piece, Marilea had a male and female cardinal that lived outside her window, and that’s where that came from.”
Not only is there great holiday shopping, but a little bit of inspiration living right outside your window.