North Carolina December 09, 2017
There’s No Other Christmas Store In The U.S. Quite Like This One In North Carolina
Once the Holiday’s hit, we’re all in the spirit of giving. One main reason we love Christmas so much is it gives us a reason to appreciate and reciprocate all the love and gratitude we have for those near and dear. Yet, Christmas shopping can become tiring and at times, quite robotic. If you’re looking for a way to breakup the routine (and also snagging some goodies for yourself) this Christmas-store-galore is amazing.
The Market on Oak is a vibrant gathering of western North Carolina artisans. From artists, potters, authors, glass blowers, food products and even specialty local markets. Featuring over 120 craftspeople and artists, it provides a creative, lucrative outlet for many that were displaced when several furniture and manufacturing jobs moved overseas. Today, those who visit find a dazzling array of handmade crafts perfect for gifting or taking home for themselves.
Founded as a nonprofit in 2003, The Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree project began that year when author Gloria Houston handed over her rights to the book The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree after Spruce Pine and many of its residents and artisans were devastated by the loss of the town's largest employer. The Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree started as a small shop and outlet where local artisans could sale their work.
One unique aspect is the wealth of handcrafted, glass-blown ornaments. Glass Blowing is a large industry in western North Carolina with many glassblowers working in studios and selling in shops throughout this region. With such ornate ornaments found nowhere else, Spruce Pine found itself in the national spotlight in 2006 after First Lady Laura Bush selected handcrafted ornaments from the shop to be featured on the White House Christmas tree.
Now known as the 'Market on Oak,' this shop grew from its humble and service-centered beginnings to a unique stop for all seeking the perfect gift or unique ornament to decorate the tree. From handmade art, an assortment of jellies, cheeses, and local provisions, even pieces of furniture and assorted knick knacks - you could spend hours here browsing while also learning more about our state and those who call it home.
The Market on Oak also features a variety of events throughout the year. The spring and summer sees pop-up farmers markets while Halloween features trick-or-treating. Of course come Christmas, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus venture to Spruce Pine for a meet-and-greet and hot cocoa with the kids.
Instead of popping in the shopping mall or even shopping on Amazon, North Carolina is filled with a variety of small, local shops that reflect and showcase the unique work of local artisans throughout the state. The Market on Oak is one such place and in the spirit of Christmas and giving - it gave back hope to many that were left devastated after industry closings. If you find yourself in the western region of the state - seeking the most unique gifts, this is certainly the place.
What an awesome place with an even better backstory! Have you visited here before?
You’ll find the Market on Oak at –
The Market on Oak, Oak Avenue, Spruce Pine, NC
For another unique Christmas shopping spots in North Carolina, visit this
European-inspired Christmas market.