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At this shop, every day is Christmas

August 12, 1999|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

The Demorys have poked around in a lot of Christmas shops over the years.

"Whenever we go on vacation, we always love to go into Christmas stores," said Steve Demory, 48, who said he likes the uniqueness of them in contrast to "stamped-out" department stores. "You don't know what you're going to see."

This spring, the Boonsboro couple bought a shop of their own, Demory's Christmas on the Green, at the corner of Longmeadow Road and Leitersburg Pike.

After a 21-year career as a manager and trainer with Montgomery Ward in Frederick, Md., Steve Demory said he was looking for a change.

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He'd always said that, if he opened a business, it would be a Christmas shop.

In mid-April, he and his wife, Charlotte "Charlie" Demory, 45, bought Christmas on the Green, including its stock and Web site.

A month later, after setting up the main room of the shop their way, they re-opened as a year-round business, Charlie Demory said.

It took a little longer to finish the room devoted to Department 56 collectibles - Heritage Village, Snow Village and Snow Babies buildings, figurines and accessories - set up in intricate miniature villages, she said.

With young children at home, Charlie Demory said she doesn't spend nearly as much time in the shop as her husband, who is there whenever it's open.

Since they opened, they've been discounting old merchandise to clear the way for new things, including more gift items for other holidays and occasions, they said.

The shop's wares include indoor-outdoor lights, collectible and other tree ornaments, music boxes, lamps, table lace and curtains, clocks and fragrant candles.

The shop's merchandise won't be expensive, said Steve Demory, who says he tries to price things fairly, using what he and his wife would be willing to pay for an item as a guide.

"I don't want to become friends with the merchandise. I want to sell it," he said.

The couple said they learned an important lesson from their experiences as Christmas shop shoppers.

They don't follow customers around and try to pressure them into buying something, they said.

They welcome browsers or even people who just like the shop's atmosphere and want to come in and read a book.

"I want everyone to come in and enjoy themselves. They don't even have to buy," Steve Demory said.

To add to the comfort of those who come along on the shopping trip, they've set up a table with magazines and plan to bring in a television, he said.

The shop's Web site, www.christmasonthegreen.com, is in the process of being upgraded, though it will still be some time before they invest in a shopping cart system.

Online customers can call, e-mail or mail in their order.

Shop hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

They'll add Sunday hours starting in October and lasting through Christmas.

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