POWAY, Calif. — If you're the type of person who likes to slowly sip your pumpkin spice latte and enjoy the fall season, this story may be a shock to the system. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Poway where the Holiday Rush is in full swing.
"Thank you so much for coming out and supporting us," said Liz McNamara to a long of people in front of her holiday-themed store 'Christmas at the Barn'. Thanksgiving is still weeks away, but the snowflakes are flying.
You may ask, "Isn't it a little early for this?" "No, never," said a breathless shopper. I asked two shoppers by the names of Leanne and Amy the following question. "Why are people standing in line for holiday decorations in early November?" They told me, "because it's the Poway Barn this is what you do every year."
Halloween just happened but the doors at Christmas at the Barn are wide open. I asked another shopper if she was afraid the store would run out out of holiday decorations. "Yes, absolutely," said Ruthie James who drove here from Murrieta and wasn't happy about being tenth in line. The line is long and so is their wish list.
"It's a tradition we come every year," said a mother named Ashely while holding her baby Blair preparing for her first Christmas. "Well I think it's been a tough year for a lot of people we're hoping to see family and spread the cheer," said Ashley.
"We have created Wonderland here," said Debi McNamara who raised her daughter Liz on Christmas Card Lane in Rancho Penasquitos. They figured why not own a store where you surround yourself with Santas. "Santa with a bag, Santa with boots, Santa with a hat," laughed Debi.
This year's hottest decoration is long on beards and puns. "Go big or go gnome, Gnome Sweet Gnome, ha, ha, ha. Um, Gnome way," said Liz. “Christmas is our favorite season! We plan all year long for this event, and although things may be very different this year, we have found ways to make this a year just as special, in a safe environment, and keep the magic of the holidays alive.”
Last year, 2,000 shoppers showed up during a three-day stretch which is why this year Debi and Liz opened a second location. 4,500-square-feet of holiday cheer just gobbled up Turkey Day.
"You are okay with skipping Thanksgiving this year?" I asked one employee. "Uh, yes, 100%. We get the same food on Christmas anyway," Maya said.
2020's been a year like no other, so should we really be surprised it's raining reindeers in Poway? Happy Holidays!!
Shoppers who bring a non-perishable food donation receive a raffle ticket and can win prizes. The raffle is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Poway and benefits the Community Food Connection. The elves at Poway Countryside Barn are getting ready for the Christmas holiday season, with their popular Christmas at the Barn shopping event, November 5-8, and November 12-15 located at 12845 Poway Road.
For information visit their Facebook Page.