Artfully Framed will be hosting its 8th Annual Christmas Open House this weekend.

Owner Barbara Pelton says that many people have come to view her Open House as their official kick-off for the holiday season.

“We have up to 200 people visit our store for this event,” said Pelton. Hours for this year’s event are 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov.7, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8.

Pelton said that a favorite feature of her event are her theme-decorated Christmas trees.

“Most of our ornaments are hand-crafted from artisans from this area, and we have some from around the world,” she explained. Some of the themes included this year are the Religious Tree, the Peacock Tree, and trees featuring mermaids, Santa’s Workshop, and the “Frozen” Tree.

“We usually repeat themes for about half of our trees,” explained Pelton. “That way people who have themed trees can continue to add to their personal collections of ornaments.”

Pelton said hers is not the only Christmas open house being held this weekend. As a matter of fact, she and several other business owners are working hard to encourage people to support local businesses.

“We’ve partnered with five other businesses in town through the Chamber of Commerce, and we are spreading the word about how important it is to shop locally,” said Pelton. The other local businesses also having open houses this weekend include Reblessed, New Leaf, Rob’s Flowers and Whitworth’s Jewelry.

“If someone visits all six of the participating stores, they can have their participation card punched. Their name then goes into a drawing for a $500 Chamber Check.

Pelton feels shopping local, whether at her store or others, is the best way to support a community’s local economy and, at the same time, find gifts that are unique and personal.

“People are always surprised at how much variety we have in our store,” said Pelton.

“The temperatures have dropped a little. A Christmas Open House is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit,” said Pelton. “People can come in, pick out some great gifts, get their own home ready for the holidays and have fun enjoying some snacks and drinks with friends and family. It’s just a very fun and joyful atmosphere.”

At her store, patrons will receive a free gift with any purchase over $20, and those who spend $50 or more will get 20 percent off their entire purchase.

“We will also have door prizes,” said Pelton. “We do our best to make this a fun experience for everyone.”

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Tammy Hilderbrand has a bachelor's degree in Communications from SEMO University, and a master's degree in education. She wrote for Cape Girardeau's Southeast Missourian Newspaper for over five years, taught in the Cape Girardeau Public School System for 16 years, and now owns her own design and custom jewelry company. Tammy lives in Ripley County and looks forward to new opportunities for our entire region to grow.