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Christmas tradition ending in Escondido with closure of beloved store

Posted: 7:23 AM, Jan 25, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-25 13:21:48-05
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ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) — For years, everything Christmas could be found at Escondido's Canterbury Gardens & Gifts, from collectibles to unique decor.

But now, the year-round holiday is coming to an end. Canterbury will close its doors once its last trinkets have been picked from its shelves.

"You wouldn't believe all that I've gotten from this store," Carol Robbins said. She's shopped at the store for more than 30 years. But even she is still walking the aisles in search of another cherished memory. "It's so special because the items are unique."

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It's also the perfect way for her to shop.

"The only way to go, well if you're 82, I don't have a smartphone," Robbins said.

But the digital age has brought new competition to the store. Competition that's only becoming more challenging for Dave Hansen, the store's owner for the past 36 years.

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"I'm leaving because it's just too much for an old guy like me," Hansen said.

And to find these unique items, Hansen travels around the world for months, which he says also takes a toll.

So loyal customers like Robbins are taking their final steps through the store. People don't seem to mind the hour-long line to enjoy all that Hansen has curated. It means being able to take home a gift to create their own holiday memories.

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"A little tree that lights up with the birds ... Beautiful piece too … you just don't see these things," Robbins says as she takes in the festival holiday store.

While the store is going away, the memories collected will be passed down for generations to come.