You might think it’s all car dealers and furniture shops out Fyshwick way but head to the northern end of Kembla Street and you’ll happily discover – as I did – a little room packed full of Christmas magic.
From giant bon-bons (featuring tiny hip flasks inside as ‘the gift’) to Waterford crystal ornaments and vintage train sets, the new Christmas Emporium at Hang Ups Picture Framing is a little piece of holiday enchantment smack bang in the middle of industrial Fyshwick.
But you won’t find ‘Stop Here Santa’ signs or fairy lights here – the store is packed wall-to-wall with collectible glass ornaments from locations like Rome and Frankfurt. Think the Faberge egg, but with a tiny sculpted Christmas village inside.
Hang Ups Picture Framing Director Mike Welch opened the Christmas Emporium last month and said customers were already wandering in and spending up to an hour browsing rare ornaments from across the globe.
He said while he had always enjoyed Christmas, it had only recently hit home just how special a time it was for a young boy growing up in country NSW in the early 1960s.
“I’m an only child and I went to boarding school from a very early age because my mother was quite sick,” he said.
“So the only time I had with mum and dad was Christmas time.
“We lived in Coonabarabran – we would finish the harvest and dad and I would head up to the cypress pine plantation at the top of the property and cut a Christmas tree.
“We’d stick it in a bucket of water, chuck a few bits of tinsel around the bottom and decorate it with the Christmas decorations we had. Mum was in charge of the drinks – dad would have a tea and I would have a cordial.
“I don’t have many special memories from my childhood but Christmas is definitely one of them.”
Kurt Adler, De Carlini and Old World Christmas are among the brands you’ll find at the new Christmas Emporium. While a number of Christmas shops “pop up” in Fyshwick closer to December, Mike said his focus was on beautiful collectibles that grandparents could hand down to grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He attended Christmas and toy fairs in Las Vegas, Frankfurt, Birmingham and New York earlier this year to source unique products for the Canberra market.
“I think ultimately everyone still craves the child within,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, an 80 or a 90-year-old still has a child within them and that’s what part of the magic of Christmas is.”[“Source-canberratimes”]