Our holiday gift to you? Well, that humongous flat-screen TV you’ve been drooling over should arrive in a U-Haul trailer any minute now. Be on the lookout for it.
Until then, here are a few stocking-stuffer items worth noting:
The gift that keeps on sucking
Last week, Andrew’s Sew and Vac in Wenatchee held its second annual White Christmas Sale, the promotion that promises buyers of vacuums and sewing machines they’ll get their purchases for free if it snows on Christmas Day.
Michelle Weaver, who runs the store with husband Andrew, said the promotion brought in about $10,000 in sales — not too shabby — and that customers were pumped that flakes might fall on Christmas morning.
“They joked about hauling snow in from Leavenworth or using snow-making equipment from Mission Ridge,” laughed Michelle. “No, no, no, we told them. It has to be legitimate snowfall.”
Sales event’s rules stipulate that it’s gotta snow 3 inches between midnight and noon on Christmas Day for customers to get their machines for free. The Weaver’s have an insurance policy — that’s right, an actual insurance policy — to cover costs if that should happen.
“We check forecasts on all the websites and TV channels,” she said, “but every single one has a different prediction. All we know now is that our customers have their fingers crossed.”
Finding your holiday spirits
You last-minute booze buyers might have a merrier Christmas this year.
When state-run liquor sales ended in June, the change increased competition among sellers — both independent liquor stores and big-box chains — with a welcome focus on customer service.
Several local stores are even open on Christmas Day, so check out the Liquor Barn in East Wenatchee (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.), all area Safeway stores (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), the East Wenatchee Walgreens (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.), the Wenatchee Walgreens (open 24 hours) and a few others. A toast to Santa as he slides down the chimney: “Bottoms up!”
A “Misérables” Christmas
You’ve opened the presents, been to church, dined on turkey and loosened your belt. Now, your Christmas Day options include puzzling over the Little Tikes Picnic ‘n’ Playhouse (regarded as one of the hardest toys to assemble) or — ooh la la — going to a French-themed movie.
A handful of films open Christmas Day, but for sheer emotion and wonder check out “Les Misérables,” which has been hailed by some as the greatest musical ever made. We’ll see. Showings at Gateway Cinema in North Wenatchee begin at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Another Frenchy possibility: “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D,” with Christmas Day showings beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Liberty Cinemas.
No branch offices
For years live Christmas trees have been sold in vacant lots here by independent contractors. Heck, for some folks it’s a family tradition to buy their holiday fir at, say, the corner tree lot at Ninth Street and Wenatchee Avenue.
But not this year. Both the cities of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee report receiving zero applications this year for tree-sale permits by independent sellers, and they’re not exactly sure why.
Bryan Ostlund, executive director of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association, says it could be because setting up a tree lot has become a real challenge. Permits, landlords, access to power, sanitation, 24-hour security — not to mention stiff competition from chain stores — are hassles many entrepreneurs might rather avoid.
Interestingly, the live-tree business looks good from a growers standpoint, Ostlund added. Sales are up slightly over last year, with most Washington- and Oregon-grown trees exported south to California and Mexico.
This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or firstname.lastname@example.org.