On Blitzen, on Donner, on Cupid, etc!

Dana Cooper has the spirit, do you have the spirit?

It’s comin’ on Christmas and the retail madness has begun. In the shops and malls, one gets a sense of heightened alertness. Extra staff are at hand, hours are extended, there’s a gift-wrapper ready to take their place next to every cash register.        

On Blitzen, on Donner, on Cupid, etc!
   
SPIRIT THIS
The old Churchill Square NLC has closed, but fear not! A brand-spankin’ new liquor store opened in the Merrymeeting Road Sobeys on December 4th, just in time for the festive booze sales.
   
Greg Gill of the NLC says the initial response has been “fantastic. Sales have been up in a large way.”
   
The NLC is really excited about the new store and, Christmas season aside, credits the brisk business to being in the bustling Centre City neighbourhood, and being part of a major grocery store doesn’t hurt either.

DOMO ARIGATO
Nothing says ‘yuletide’ like animatronics, and those mechanical avatars of the season are out in force again this year. On the east end of Water Street, you’ll notice First Western Boutique’s dancing Santa robot in the window, shakin’ his Kris Kringles and spreading lots of cheer. In the Avalon Mall, the Happy Tree is up again, and will be until Christmas Eve (he’s ‘awake’ Monday to Friday 3-7pm, Saturdays 12-8pm, and Sundays 12-6pm). If you visit, be sure to bring a gift for the Salvation Army Gifts For Kids.
   
Meanwhile, at the Village Mall, Happy Tree’s arch-nemesis Chris Moose is also hard at work, blinking one eye at a time and asking if you’ve been a good boy or girl from Monday to Friday 12-8pm, Saturday 10-8pm and Sunday 12-4pm.

COFFEE WITH ROOM

After nine months as a take-out counter in the Scotia Centre lobby, Tim Horton’s has moved into its second sit-down location in the downtown core, this time in the old Mugshots space. This was a widely anticipated move after the closure of the old Timmy Ho’s in Atlantic Place two years ago. Starting their fourth week in business, the wider effect on the surrounding coffee houses has been negligible.
   
Showing the true holiday spirit of goodwill, Rob Collins of Hava Java reckons “there’s room for all of us. Anything that brings business downtown is good for everyone.”

DOLLO BAZAARO
In the best tradition of Christmas fairs, Time Out for Women will be holding a doll show and sale at Cochrane Street United Church on Saturday, December 9th. There will be antique and ethnic dolls, as well as crafts, decorations, baked goods and a variety of other bazaar-esque items.  After all, with lunch for $5 (12-2pm) and afternoon tea for $3 (after 2pm), how can you lose? Drop in for a look-see at 11am in the Church Hall, admission $1. Call 722-3023 for more info.

NICE SPOT

Speaking of tea… ‘tis the season for assorted squares! The Anna Templeton Centre for Craft, Art & Design will be holding its annual Christmas Tea & Sale from Dec 8-9. Their mini-craft fair and cozy tea room might be just the place to find the perfect pressie, or at least take a break and have a cuppa. Drop by 278 Duckworth St, Friday 4-8pm, or Saturday 930am-430pm. For more info call 739-7623.

– Dana Cooper (For Diana Daly, Girl Reporter)

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