Guess who bought a poinsettia today.
As much as I grumble about the full-on onslaught of Christmas merchandise in the stores before Halloween? Yes, I did weaken. So, you may as well get the benefits of my experience.
Now, it’s not a REAL poinsettia, thankfully. I haven’t gone around the bend that far.
But, shopping in a great artists’ area of San Juan Capistrano, I did see just the right Christmas-themed garden stake for someone on my Christmas 2015 list. And this area is a relatively new “find” for me. If you go to the Metrolink station in San Juan Capistrano, cross the tracks (carefully and listening for bells, of course!), you’ll find yourself headed towards historic Los Rios Street–an enchanting lane of small businesses, independently-owned restaurants and galleries.
Hang a right if you happen to be doing early Christmas shopping (who isn’t?). You’ll have your choice of at least five different gift shop/gallery venues. Favorites I’ve found include The Cottage Gallery, displaying creations that include original acrylic paintings (and art prints for those of us on a blogger’s budget), fused-glass lamps, and a variety of gorgeous earrings. The Nest is also well worth a look, with their garden and outdoor-patio gifts outside and boutique fashion accessories in the shop itself.
But, the garden-stake poinsettias are at Las Catrinas Mexican Folk Art and Handcrafts. And these are both festive and imaginative: red metal petals, green metal leaves and jingle-bell cyathia (or centers, if you’re less horticulturally-inclined!). They were absolutely perfect for a certain special recipient.
Buying one Christmas gift on a beautiful, 70-degree October afternoon is kind of like munching on one peanut. So my visit to Las Catrinas concluded with a bag filled with colorful Mexican pottery, to go with the poinsettia. Las Catrinas, the proprietor said, has been open in the area for just over a year. They are a treasure trove of tinware, silver, Mexican pottery ranging from cute mini-animals (I really liked the fox!) to breathtakingly beautiful garden ornaments, stained glass and more.
So, OK. If I’m going to be buying Christmas-themed items in October, at least it’s in support of a new independent establishment. Plus, it’s a unique gift that, in all probability, will sell out long before the Thanksgiving turkey makes its appearance.