Sharing joyful Christmas spirit

The sky was sunny and temperature was in the 70s as my car nosed down Valleydale Road. It was mid–afternoon of Nov. 3, and I had an appointment to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.

This bearded fellow in his red suit arrives earlier each year, but we can all use a dose of joy in this economy, right?

Soon I arrived at a gift shop owned by Mary Moore. It’s located off Valleydale and Caldwell Mill, and called Above and Beyond Gifts.

The smiling couple hailing from the North Pole commenced setting up in front of a Christmas tree, surely getting ready for a flock of children. Camera men prepared to shoot photos.

Mary Lou of Bama Balloons, wearing a reindeer balloon on her head, organized and readied to entertain kids. Sounds of Jingle Bells emerged from someplace.

I perused the store.

The shop carries collectible gifts, serving plates, mugs, cards, crystal, pewter, picture frames, baby gifts, jewelry, music CDs and more. You could set up a home spa with its bath products and candles.

“We’re the only authorized seller of Peggy Karr glass,” Moore said. “These are collectible pieces, signed by the artist, all handmade. I like to look for distinctive and unique gifts.”

Above and Beyond Gifts is a shop that gives back to the community. One way is when customers donate a toy.

The store participates with area churches to provide toys for needy children they’ve identified.

The donation brings a 15 percent discount to customers.

The Claus couple wishes for a joyful spirit in hearts all year long.

“Putting smiles on faces inspires me,” said Mrs. Claus.

These two can be caught spreading joy at the Summit on U.S. 280, the Calera Christmas parade and at a hospital or home near you. In March, they will be found in Gatlinburg, Tenn. attending a Santa Claus Festival.

To learn more about this crowd-pleasing couple, visit BamaSanta.com.

Take the effort to reach out to people, and allow others into your sphere –– an all-season gift with no price tag.

Gladys Hodge Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at gsherrer@hotmail.com.