By Dennis Richardson
Photo by Trever Richardson
November 28, 2010 (Lakeside)--Lakeside Historical Society opens its annual Christmas Resale Shoppe on December 1st. The shoppe will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Christmas Eve, December 24th.
This extensive array features roomfuls of new and slightly used Christmas items for sale including Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, angels, cookie jars, teddy bears, ornaments of every description and many wonderful items for decorating that you cannot find anywhere else. Scroll down for details on the inspiration behind this event, andiew a video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHvYSkLSPAo
Upon retirement as a letter carrier from the Lakeside Post Office, Nita Padilla joined the Lakeside Garden Club, which held its meetings at the Historical Society. It wasn’t long before she also joined the Historical Society and was asked to volunteer in the gift shop. It was a perfect fit and it was there, five years ago, that she decorated and displayed a few Christmas items for sale using only one display case. It was well received, so the following summer, she grabbed all the Christmas décor donated for the August yard sale. Again, she decorated the gift shop and sold more Christmas items. She also began supporting other non-profit organizations in Lakeside by buying all their Christmas decorations.
Now the gift shop is stripped of all year round merchandise and is transformed into a fairyland of lights and color. It is a huge effort on the part of the volunteers, but worth it just to hear and see the comments from guests, like “Wow," organizers report. Many shoppers are looking for that special item to add to their collection of cookie jars, angels, reindeer, mice, snowmen, or Santas, and are happy to find that special item. Padilla loves teddy bears and candy canes. She also collects 1950’s era cloth santas, the ones with the puffy cheeks and bulbous noses, a rare and exciting find.
As the word spread, donations greatly increased. It seemed like everyone had Christmas décor that they no longer wanted. This past summer, a generous homeowner donated truckloads of beautiful items-- so many that volunteers can hardly find a place to display all the holiday decorl. From one display case five years ago, the holiday items now fill the entire gift shop, the entire fellowship hall, plus there are tables and bins outside on the patio.
Lakeside Historical Society purchased the property from the Presbyterian Church 24 years ago. It had not held church services for 25 years. Prior to 1986, many residents may remember the church housed a thrift shop. With the foresight, determination and hard work of the founding members, this beautiful 114-year old church was extensively refurbished and returned to its original beauty. It is a county designated historical site. The Lakeside Museum on the property was once home to the pastor and is now filled with turn of the century memorabilia. The museum is open on Saturdays from 11-3 and admission is free.
If you like Christmas, it's worth a trip to Lakeside to see this cornucopia of color and decorating extravaganza. Funds raised benefit this non-profit’s ongoing preservation of the Olde Church at 9906 Maine Avenue in downtown Lakeside. For info call 619-561-1886.