NORTH COHOCTON — To see what Christmas is like in Germany, a short drive to the Olde Country Store in North Cohocton is as close as one can get.
Olde Country Store and More Owner Jeff Wells, who was stationed in Germany while in the Army, knows quite a bit about the traditions, as not only did he live there, his late wife and his children are from Germany.
Last year, he wanted to share what what a German and American Christmas is like, and the decked out store was so popular, he brought it back again this year.
“People wanted us to do it every weekend until Christmas,” he said. “We decided to take a chance and do two weekends this year.”
The plan is to turn the upstairs into a German Christmas Market theme all year long. There will be items on consignment being sold upstairs from local vendors all year.
“I would like to turn the upstairs into a German Market,” Wells said. “I would like to have a train go all around the upstairs too. I hope to get more stuff up there so people will see what we have after Christmas.”
The German Christmas Ornaments are a tradition for many people in the area.
“A lot of people make it their tradition to get a German Christmas Ornament from us, because they know it is the real thing,” Wells said.
The German and American Christmas idea hits home for the vendors as well.
Greer Alexis Bacon author of “The Feather Locket” and “The Fishing Lure” feels inspired when she comes to the markets.
“I love German Christmas,” she said. “I have family that lives there. I went to Germany in 2009 to meet the family I have never met before. My father was stationed there in the 1970s. The Christmas Market was beautiful. It takes me back there.”
Custom Maddeness Owner Jill Madden said she has been making rice bags with essential oils for about 15 years now, but has been sewing since she was a teenager. Madden started in halloween costumes 25 years ago.
“I think it (German and American Christmas) is great,” she said. “It is a tradition. It shows us the importance of sentimental value and that things have meaning.”
Stephanie Marshall has been in the pottery business for 20 years.
“I have loved clay and mud in my hands since I was a child, and I taught myself how to do pottery,” she said.
Marshall believes that German and American Christmas is a beautiful tradition.
“The German girls (Jenny and Denise Wells) said that they miss the German Christmas Markets the most,” she said. “I want to go to Germany and check it out someday.”
Susan Wissick has an Alpaca Farm and has been spinning wool since she was eight years old. Wissick was the owner of the Olde Country Store in the 90s and she said that her father came from Germany.
“My father came to America from Germany and met my mother,” she said. “I am originally from Albany. I came down here to work at the school library. We use to sell candy, gifts, and furniture.”
Wissick added the Wells Family is doing a great job with her old business.
“It is like bringing it back home,” she said. “They are doing a great job with the store. They are hardworking. They are good for the community. I like that is being run by a family.”
The spirit of the German and American Christmas brings everyone together and reminds us that there is always a little piece of us at the Olde Country Store and More.
The Olde Country Store is located 2 University Avenue in North Cohocton.