Find Christmas Spirit at Sturgeon Bay’s Bliss

By virtue of the novella A Christmas Carol alone, Charles Dickens is considered the literary godfather of what we know as the spirit of Christmas.

Despite producing four other Christmas tales after the 1843 publication of A Christmas Carol (The Chimes, 1844; The Cricket on the Hearth, 1845; The Battle of Life, 1846; and The Haunted Man, 1848), it is the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol – his finding his way by finding the Christmas spirit – that personifies the generous spirit and good will and hope for the future that makes this particular story live on.

Bliss at Christmas. Photo by Len Villano.

While there are many great lines throughout A Christmas Carol, one in particular sums up Scrooge’s pre-enlightenment dilemma: “Darkness was cheap, and Scrooge liked it.”

Light, of course, symbolizes Christmas, whether it be light from a heavenly star or a twinkling string of lights on a Christmas tree.

Which brings us to this. Are you looking for your Christmas spirit?

A trip to Bliss at 724 Jefferson St., Sturgeon Bay, might be the answer.

“There are a lot of people who drop by and find their Christmas spirit,” said owner Todd Trimberger. “We’ve been here 16 years. Over the years we have built up to the large Christmas wonderland we have today. It’s been rewarding to see even the smallest smile on people’s face as they feel the magic around them, so to speak.”

Trimberger’s tradition of spreading the Christmas spirit predates Bliss, going back to another retail store he had in Green Bay, but tradition is definitely the right word.

“For a lot of people it’s become a tradition to come by,” Trimberger said.

For that reason, he and his staff try to keep it fresh.

Photo by Len Villano.

“We try to change it every year,” Trimberger said. “Maybe a few key things we order because people come back for them time and time again, but the collection is 85 to 90 percent new every year, from sparkly and glittery to natural and Door County-like, traditional and contemporary.”

The planning for the season actually begins in January when Trimberger does his buying for the next season.

“It kind of comes together through what I select and the staff here, led by Rob Soukop,” Trimberger said. He said this year Soukop has used birch trees to create a forest atmosphere in the shop’s Christmas area.

The atmosphere is perfect for conjuring up the holiday magic, and Trimberger mentions that he and his staff are eager to help people with the gift lists.

“Everything is gift bagged when it leaves,” he said.

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