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Gifts for All: Christopher’s

The wonderful thing about holiday shopping at Christopher’s—aside from the extraordinary breadth of unique merchandise—is its location. Come December, nothing is more festive than a stroll through downtown Kirkwood. Located across from the Farmers’ Market (which starts selling Christmas trees toward the end of November), Christopher’s is holiday central, and has been for the past 22 years.

“We are the place for gift giving, for discovering that hard-to-find, one-of-kind item,” says owner Mark Coulter, who took over the store two years ago. Christopher’s slogan is, ‘A little bit of everything—for the home, for the body, for the memories,’ and indeed, memories can be made here. Already, the store is perfumed with the warm scents of seasonal candles and twinkles with lights from its many Christmas tree displays. You can find ornaments here to pass down for generations, start new customs with a beautiful dinner service or even pick out something festive to wear to a holiday party.

“There really is something for everyone,” says Beth Herbster, a shopper who was out getting a jump on her gift lists. “There is everything from cute phone chargers and napkins to nutcrackers and soaps!”

Coulter focuses on American-made items whenever possible. Purchase a bottle of fine Bariani olive oil from the Sacramento Valley here, or a slice of Primal Elements soap. He notes that he has the largest selection of these soaps in the area, with around 50 different kinds. He also carries American-made Clara Sun Woo women’s clothing, Retrofied handbags and pottery, Mariposa recycled aluminum tableware and gifts, Solmate Socks, Texas General Square Candles, Thymes beauty products, and Trapp candles. Coulter says Christopher’s is the only place to buy Aunt Sadie’s scented candles locally and estimates he sells more than 1,500 a year. ‘Autumn in St. Louis’ is a particularly popular scent, as is the sweet and piney ‘Tree in a Can.’ And he says Christopher’s has the largest collection of Christopher Radko Christmas ornaments in the St. Louis area. “I sell them year-round,” he says.

But the store’s No. 1 seller is the eco-conscious jewelry by Alex and Ani. “I like to support socially responsible shopping,” Coulter says, adding that some of the fair trade artifacts he stocks are made by artisans in North India and other points across the globe.

New this year is what Coulter calls Holiday Wonderland, a mini outdoor market with a distinctly European flavor. You can find everything you need for the holidays in three themed booths. One has rustic, animal-inspired decor; another is a festival of all things colorful and shiny. The last, Coulter says, is all about getting cozy—“making your heart feel warm”—and features home accents that appeal to more traditional tastes.

Coulter stresses that even though he is relatively new to Christopher’s, he will always stay true to the vision of the previous owners. He predicts the categories of products they established will likely never change. “But we’ll still move with the times,” he says, “and just keep getting better and better.”

Christopher’s, located in the heart of downtown Kirkwood at 127 E. Argonne Drive, is St. Louis’ Premier gift and home accent store, featuring unique items for the home, for the body and for the memories. Pictured on the cover: owner Mark Coulter with Christopher’s unique team of dedicated staff. For more information, call 314.909.0202, visit christophersgifts.com or find the store on Facebook.
Cover Design by Allie Bronsky | Cover Photo by Bill Barrett

Pictured at top: Owner Mark Coulter
Photo: Bill Barrett

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