Before The Christmas Tree...

Kathleen & Madeline, owners of The Christmas Tree enjoyed growing up learning from a very creative Mom—Madeline, how to take pleasure in their surroundings – making fun, pretty and early creative projects for home and for presents!

Fast forward a few years... The Christmas Tree was born with a gorgeous red velvet Christmas Goose designed and made by Mom, and sold at Krasel Art Centers “Holly Market” and Fernwoods “Holiday Market”. Orders were taken for red geese and many other colors, in velvet and wool. We produced “gaggles of geese” and used mountains of stuffing! Very Fun!

Our love of Christmas and the fun of the Red Christmas Goose started us thinking...our area was in need of a Christmas boutique as there was no Christmas store anywhere near...plans and excitement found us in our 1st 800 square foot store. And that’s how we began in 1989.

In that little store we brought in products that were different than you could find at other stores, displays that were enchanting and as people found us they would exclaim, ”Oh my goodness...look at this!!!!” “I have never seen anything like this” and started bringing family and friends to see what they had found. We did a lot of things from that little store.

Special orders, big and little, were filled for area businesses. We started after hours shopping parties for groups, which was really fun, and it gave us the opportunity to “show and tell” about the items and give special ideas and ways to think about gift giving! We could seat 12 people around the room in the twinkling Christmas lights. Before the presentation, hot chocolate was enjoyed, and Christmas songs were sung.

We soon outgrew our first little store, and started looking for a bigger home. We didn’t have to look far! We found it in our own backyard when we saw the owner of the Ferris Glass Company, put up a FOR SALE sign….we locked our front door, raced across the yard to buy the new home for The Christmas Tree. That increased our size to 2400 square feet! We were excited, our customers were delighted, and the work began…creating a charming Christmas shop filled with all that is special! Our husbands, our families and friends all helped...and the magic happened! The new store was quickly ready for everyone to see and enjoy!

We continued serving local businesses, creating centerpieces, decorations, and finding just the right gifts for their parties at the Mendel Center and smaller orders for smaller companies.

People love to shop here and continue to be delighted in finding the unusual items that aren’t found in other stores. In fact, our Chicago friends tell us…”there isn’t anything like this in Chicago!” We soon found we couldn’t do it all alone anymore…we needed help! We started calling the people that had told us they would like to work here, and The Christmas Tree family grew!

After a few more years, an extension was added to the store which then gave us 5000 square feet, enough room for everything we needed…and a most wonderful thing happened...we became a “Family Affair” place! No longer a place where “just ladies” shopped! Thinking back through all our years of business, 25 this year (2014), we have come to realize that the real joy of this business is the Wonderful people who come here and laugh with us...share stories with about us, and shop with us!

We are truly Blessed!