Christmas Spirit moves to new, old digs

Store will reopen in late February
January 17, 2018

Christmas Spirit in Rehoboth Beach is proving that you can go home again.

The store is moving back to its former home of 20 years at 129 Rehoboth Ave. and will reopen in late February, said Manager Jill Hudson. “It is full circle,” she said.

Christmas Spirit will continue to sell its popular line of holiday-related accessories, such as trees, ornaments, wreaths, magnets, and hand-painted sea shells and sand dollars.  Yet despite its name, the store’s biggest sellers are beach-related ornaments and anything with the name Rehoboth Beach on it, Hudson said. She said the store has over 60 themes and can personalize many items.

Hudson said the store is moving to a smaller space in a more retail-friendly area, surrounded by Browseabout Books, Bella Luna and the shops of Rehoboth Mews. One of the more notable items to make the trip is a full-size Santa sleigh, which Hudson said makes a great photo opportunity for kids.

She said the key to the store’s survival is its resort location.

“If we were in the middle of Georgetown, we wouldn’t have done as well. You could write Rehoboth Beach on this pen, and it would sell,” Hudson said.

Christmas Spirit was founded in 1972 on Rehoboth Avenue, at the space now occupied by Bella Luna. The shop then moved next door to 129 Rehoboth Ave., where it remained for 20 years before moving to an expanded space at 161 Rehoboth Ave. Christmas Spirit previously had stores in Annapolis and Ocean City, both now closed.

Hudson has worked for Christmas Spirit since 1988. She said she was working at Epworth United Methodist Church, then on Baltimore Avenue. The manager of Christmas Spirit was looking for Santa’s elves, and Hudson volunteered.

“I came over, and they were so busy, they said, ‘Can you start right now?’ And I started right then,” Hudson said.

While many brick-and-mortar stores like Christmas Spirit are struggling to compete against the convenience of the internet, for Hudson and store owners Scott and Keys Chappelear, Christmas Spirit’s visibility and reputation are the ultimate answer.

“We’ve got such a good clientele now, people are used to us being here. They know we have nice product. It’s like a tradition to get your ornament for the summer or Christmas,” Hudson said.

For more information on Christmas Spirit, call 227-6872 or visit them on Facebook. Once the new store opens, its hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday before offering expanded hours for the summer.