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Seeking holiday ideas? We know a few places you should check out

Now that Thanksgiving is but a sweet memory, the holiday season is truly here. It’s time to deck the halls and be of good cheer.

When it comes to decorating, area residents are fortunate to have some wonderful resources close by. If you are looking for ideas or just want to spend a pleasant afternoon wandering through the Christmas rooms of these stores, they are sure to put a smile on your face:

• Madison Country Store, 2928 N. Madelia St., (509) 340-1952 – Decorative items for the whole house are available in the Christmas room. Tree and ornament themes include the garden, seashore, wildlife and snowmen. There is also a store in River Park Square located at the top of the escalator.

• Mel’s, 8800 N. Division St., (509) 467-5132 – Tree themes include snowmen; Santa; moose and reindeer; owls and other birds; glass acorns and pinecones; garden fairies; Raggedy Ann and Andy; Wizard of Oz; fishing and camping; and a garden theme.

• Ritter’s House of Christmas, 10120 N. Division St., (509) 467-5258 – You’ll find holiday folk art, welcome signs and tree themes including fishing, Wild West, Harley-Davidson, safari, country garden and musical instruments. New this year are cobalt trees with iridescent silver ornaments.

Santa and his reindeer will visit on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring a donation for Toys for Tots or Second Harvest Food Bank.

• Stanek’s Nursery, Gifts & Floral, 2929 E. 27th Ave., (509) 535-2939 – Tree themes and ornaments include glittery silk butterflies and dragonflies, sparkling poinsettias, whimsical moose, birds, and silver and bronze ornaments.

Other good sources for ornaments include the Old World Christmas Factory Outlet in Spokane, 4005 E. Main Ave., and Christmas at the Lake, 517 Sherman Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.

To find poinsettias, mums, houseplants and fresh flowers, check out Spokane Community College’s The Greenery, which is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Dec. 10 (1810 N. Greene St., Building 10, 509-533-8167).

Ritter’s House of Christmas sells poinsettias, potted live Christmas trees and holly bushes, and LED lights for trees.

The Green Bluff Growers are hosting their Holiday Memories Festival through Christmas. Cut your own Christmas tree, find unique gifts and have your picture taken with Santa. For more details, go to

Tired of the hustle and bustle? Soothe your soul with a walk through Manito Park’s Gaiser Conservatory on Spokane’s South Hill.

From Dec. 10-19, the Conservatory will be decorated with more than 30,000 holiday lights and filled with poinsettias, chrysanthemums and other plants. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with the best viewing time being after 4 p.m.

On Dec. 11 and 12, The Friends of Manito will host an open house in the meeting room east of the Conservatory. Refreshments will be served from 4 to 7:30 p.m. both days.

The holiday lights display and open house are free to the public.

Another holiday gem can be found in the historic Browne’s Addition neighborhood. Built in 1898, the Campbell House, 2316 W. First Ave., is decorated for the holidays.

The tour is included with a paid Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture admission. Call (509) 456-3931 for more information or visit

The museum will also host the Yuletide 2010 Arts and Crafts Fair on Dec. 10 from noon to 8 p.m., Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

One of the prettiest places to visit during the holidays is the Davenport Hotel, 10 S. Post St.

Beginning Tuesday through Dec. 11, the Spokane Symphony Associates will hold its annual Christmas Tree Elegance fundraiser. This event features 12 beautifully decorated trees on the mezzanine level of the Davenport.

They can be viewed from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Raffle tickets are $1 for a chance to win a tree and the gifts accompanying it. For more information, visit

Susan Mulvihill can be reached via e-mail at