Vicke Christiansen turned Gregg's Pool Works, the store she owns with husband Gregg Sample, into a winter wonderland. Stop by and check out the beautifully decorated trees loaded with ornaments. You're sure to find the right ones for the special people in your life. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene


The gift of ornaments … a classic tradition

By November 18, 2011

What would a Christmas tree be without ornaments?

Vicke Christiansen wouldn’t have it. That’s why she transformed Gregg’s Pool Works in El Dorado Hills into the Town Center Christmas Shoppe, a winter wonderland with beautifully decorated trees.

“Christmas is one of my favorite things,” said Christiansen, who owns the store with husband Gregg Sample.

A favorite Christmas tradition for Christiansen is giving ornaments to her children and, for the first time this year, her grandchild. The ornaments usually commemorate something they did that year, she said.

Now guests at Town Center Christmas Shoppe have the opportunity to select unique ornaments for their loved ones. Christiansen and Gregg’s Pool Works assistant manager Jaime Bowls, who previously worked in a Christmas store, created a great place to find that perfect ornament — there are about 7,000 ornaments in the Christmas Shoppe.

“Old World is really popular; they’re hand-blown glass, hand painted,” Bowls said. “I also added a few (ornaments) that were really different.”

These are not ornaments you’ll find in the big stores (i.e. the shop’s neighbor), she added.

Six trees decorate the store, each with a theme. The “Traditional Tree” features snowmen, churches, gingerbread houses, angels and Santa Clauses. The “Winter Tree” has gorgeous pieces by Adler and Demdaco and the “Firsts Tree” covers your baby’s first Christmas, a couple’s first Christmas, etc. Some of these ornaments are customizable.

Need an elephant ornament? How about a golden retriever? Then check out the “Animal Tree” where you’ll find all sorts of fuzzy and cuddly (along with a few not-so-cuddly) creatures.

For that special firefighter or teacher in your life, consider an ornament from the “Occupational Tree.” Pointing to a badge ornament, Christiansen said. “My son-in-law is a police officer in Vallejo so I’m getting him one of these.”

Perhaps the most uniques tree in Town Center Christmas Shoppe is the “Crystal Tree,” not for the ornaments but for its position. Christiansen hung it upside-down.

In addition to the ornaments, Christiansen lined her shelves with tree toppers, stocking holders, cookie jars (Santa’s favorite!), and lights (LED products available).

“We tried to get a little bit if everything,” Christiansen said. Oh yeah, they also still have all the supplies pool owners need.

The Christmas spirit also inspired Christiansen’s first holiday sale. Mention this article and you’ll get a buy-one-get-one half-off deal on anything Christmas. On Black Friday (open at 9 a.m.) the first 25 customers get a special buy-one-get-one-free deal. A buy-one-get-one half-off  sale will go on throughout that weekend.

Town Center Christmas Shoppe is located inside Gregg’s Pool Works, 4380 Town Center Blvd., Suite 130, in El Dorado Hills. For more information call (916) 933-7799.

Noel Stack


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