News

Central Kitsap shoppers tired, but satisfied

Daniel Jonas is adjusting the upside-down Christmas Tree at Maggie’s Christmas. Hanging a tree with the pointy end down is a tradition in Alaska, where ceilings in rustic cabins and homes were not high enough to put up a tree in the traditional manner. - Photo by Kelly Everett
Daniel Jonas is adjusting the upside-down Christmas Tree at Maggie’s Christmas. Hanging a tree with the pointy end down is a tradition in Alaska, where ceilings in rustic cabins and homes were not high enough to put up a tree in the traditional manner.
— image credit: Photo by Kelly Everett

Christmas-shopping mania has hit Silverdale.

Actually, according to those who were there yesterday, Friday, Nov. 28, the infamous day-after-Thanksgiving-start-of-the-Christmas-shopping-season, it was a lot nicer than last year — though just as crowded.

More help was hired, and the sales clerks and cashiers were more polite and helpful, said shoppers.

Plus there was a better selection of products. More shoppers said they were finding just what they were looking for.

“Lots of good sales,” said Dave Snyder of Silverdale. “It’s more crowded than I thought it would be.”

He was with girlfriend Kathy Holder, who had daughter Kandace, 6, and son Kristian, 8, at her side.

“We got here at 8 a.m. — in other words, late,” said June Welzbacker of Silverdale with a laugh. It was after 9 a.m. and she and June Welzbacker were taking a break on one of the many benches in the Kitsap Mall.

“We’re pretty much finding what we were looking for,” said June. “There’s just almost too much. But the sales reps have been nice. They hired enough help.”

Danya Evans, a cashier at Bath & Body Works, said “Yeah, things are hopping.” The small store was one of the busiest yesterday, with dozens of customers lining up to buy.

Pam Gartner of Poulsbo was looking for gifts for “Friends, family, the office ... all of the above.”

The food court at the center of Kitsap Mall was filled — virtually every table. Shoppers were coursing up and down the main breezeway, but there were few collisions and most seemed relaxed, despite the crowds.

“We’re about as busy as last year,” said Robin Long, owner of Sun Prairie Trading Co. “In fact, it’s been a good season so far for us.”

The store, which opened at Kitsap Mall in 1998, specializes in jewelry, toys, art glass and boxes, among other things.

“We were here at 6 a.m.,” said teenagers Tonya and Dorrie Strader, who were looking over humidifiers at a kiosk called “Unique Fountains.”

Owner of the kiosk, Wendy Chenoweth of Gig Harbor, explained the new product is like a miniature water fountain, but releases mist as if someone dropped a little “dry-ice” in the fountain. However, she assured patrons that the mists were created with a new technology using ordinary water only, and capable of humidifying one’s home safely. The company is based in Puyallup.

Major venders at the Mall, such as Gottschalks, had signs hanging from the ceiling boldly stating “40 percent off ... 50 percent off ... 60 percent off!”

Exclamation points were everywhere.

Pat Denzer of Bremerton said she started with Jo-Ann Fabrics at 6 a.m., then hit Sears before entering the Mall proper.

“Found some great deals for the kids in Sears,” she said.

At Maggie’s Christmas, a seasonal shop specializing in decorated trees and decorations in general, co-owner Daniel Jonas was adjusting the store’s upside-down Christmas Tree. No mere gimmick, he said, the inverted tree is an Alaskan tradition.

“The ceilings in most cabins in Alaska were never high enough to set up a tree — so folks would hang them from the ceiling. Then they discovered they could hang things more easily and hang more than before.” The shop is based in Shelton.

Meanwhile, outside the Mall SUVs circled the parking lot, looking for parking spaces. Though raining, it was possible to find spaces, if one was willing to walk and get a little wet.

Mall management couldn’t be reached by deadline for an estimate on numbers of shoppers Friday.

Nationwide, retail experts and forecasters are predicting the best retail shopping season in four years.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 15 edition online now. Browse the archives.