Christmas comes early at holiday boutique
Published 9:54 am Thursday, October 22, 2015
Christmas may still be more than two months away, but one organization is already getting into the holiday spirit.
Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea’s Naeve Hospital Auxiliary on Wednesday opened its Gift Shop Holiday Boutique.
Filled with all sorts of holiday decor, jewelry, winter clothing items and more, the boutique raises funds for equipment, furnishing and patient care items at the medical center.
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“Our goal is to make the experience better for patients and people who work here,” said co-chairwoman Pat Palmer.
Auxiliary members, who are all volunteers, go to the Minneapolis Mart every other month to look for merchandise to have at the gift shop. The shop is on the first floor of the medical center.
“We get started ordering early, and Christmas stuff starts coming in summer,” Palmer said.
She noted they try to sell affordable items that no one else locally has for sale.
On Monday, the volunteers took everything that didn’t pertain to Christmas out of the gift shop and in just two days transformed the space.
“You get started and ask, ‘How is this ever going to come together?’” she said. “But it does.”
Patients and employees walked by eagerly Wednesday morning, looking into the windows to see what would be for sale. Doors opened at 11 a.m. and will be open from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. today and Friday as well.
Palmer said some of the popular items include lighted pictures, Christmas books, boxed card sets and lots of sparkly items. The shop also has several Nativity sets, Christmas jewelry and ornaments. Christmas linens are expected soon.
Palmer said the auxiliary is always looking for new members, both men and women. In addition to running the gift shop and coffee shop, members conduct tours in the fall and spring for first-graders, along with providing support for oncology patients and stocking all the magazines throughout the medical center.
“There’s always something someone can do,” she said.