Deepwell Farms County Park is the place to be in St. James on Dec. 3, when Santa comes to town for the annual tree lighting. The festivities, which begin at 4 p.m., include performances by Smithtown schools’ band, orchestra, choral and choir groups, as well as dance troupes and other local talent, noted Kathy Webber, president of St. James Chamber of Commerce.
“Inside the house we have a craft for younger children, and we have cookies and hot chocolate for all the people who come,” said Webber, adding that Santa arrives, with an ornate sleigh in tow, welcoming the kids with treats.
Lake Avenue is lined with wreaths and a second tree near the gazebo at the train station is lit, as is a third tree and a menorah along the triangle at Route 25A and Moriches Road.
“It’s just such a nice little area to walk around, do some local shopping,” Webber said of the area around Lake Avenue and North Country Road that is sprinkled with shops and restaurants. You can walk back in time at St. James General Store (516 Moriches Rd., 631-854-3740), which was built circa 1857 as a store and meeting place and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
“Everything is old at the general store,” quipped Karen Sheedy, store manager.
There’s a room dedicated to Christmas decorations, gifts, ornaments, lights, balsam-scented candles and toys. “We try to make it look classic, old timey Christmas,” she said.
The shop has 11 departments, including books, candy housewares and women’s accessories (hats, gloves, scarves) and Long Island (books and artwork).
A shop specialty is the Molasses Paddle Pop: molasses taffy covered in dark chocolate. “People give boxes of them for Christmas,” Sheedy said.
Everything is vintage at Greenhouse Antiques & Collectibles (425 N. Country Rd., 631-584-3758, thegreenhouseantiques.com), a multi-dealer shop chock-full of home furnishings, jewelry, old-fashioned phones, clocks, signs, pipes, license plates, weather vanes, pocket watches, Matchbox cars, Tonka trucks, miniatures, Christmas trinkets, and military caps and helmets. There’s a shiny Schwinn Hornet bicycle, plus phonographs and Edison cylinder talking machines.
“We do have one of the largest collections from the 1939 World’s Fair,” owner Luciano Apadula said of the 10,000 collectibles that include everything from sugar cubes to penknives. “I want to look for something I’ve never seen before. That’s the fun of the business.”
James Feldsteen, who bought a gramophone at the shop a week earlier, said he comes in to buy old radios, electronics and fans.
“I collect a lot of this really old stuff,” said Feldsteen, 64, an audiovisual salesman from Port Jefferson.
At Rose & Boom (412 N. Country Rd., 631-250-9554, roseandboom.net), you might find pop-up shops on Fridays or Saturdays that feature Long Island brands like JMD Jewelry, Bizzybcrafts accessories, Jam Threads custom graphics and Fragrant Flame candles.
“On Black Friday, everything will be 40% off, and we’ll have new inventory,” said owner Cat Rosenboom.
The first 25 shoppers receive gifts on Small Business Saturday and customers can save 10% to 30% in a scratch-off promotion at checkout.
On any day, you’ll find stylish blouses, jeans, slacks, maxi dresses, sweaters, shoes, handbags and clutches, jewelry and hair accessories.
There’s Rose & Boom’s own room-and-linen spray, mugs with sayings like “Keep Dreaming” and “Overthinker,” and Angelic Magic zodiac soy candles with gemstones and crystals.
And there’s more:
Niche Boutique New York (430 N. Country Rd., 631-406-6160, nicheboutique.net). Find your niche look in extra-small to extra-large sizes of fleece hoodies, Vintage Havana shirtdresses, children’s clothes, Eleven Love wish bracelets, Katie Loxton jewelry, and fun holiday pajamas.
My Darling Jeans (556 Rte. 25A, Suite 16, 631-315-3655, facebook.com/mydarlingjeans). Clothing for girls, from infant to size 10, and boys, infant to size 5/6, and special-occasion wear up to size 14 for both. For the holidays, there are festive matching pajamas for the family.
Mazelis Gifts & Gardens (400 N. Country Rd., 631-724-5425, mazelisgiftsandgardens.com). Unique Christmas ornaments, handmade wreaths, snow globes, candles, holiday-themed metal artwork, gifts for wine lovers, wood and metal signs with messages, colorful metal rooster sculptures, painted milk jug planters, and Christmas Lenox.
Gray’s Jewelers Bespoke (429A N. Country Rd., 631-250-9489, graysjewels.com). On-trend, custom and one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces range from $50 to $500,000. There are pieces from Kendra Scott, Bassali, Coast, and Shy, diamonds from Gabriel & Co., permanent Love Link bracelets and Charm It! Kids jewelry.
TreenaRose Soap (448 Lake Ave., 631-616-9921, facebook.com/Treenarosesoapshop). All natural, vegan soaps handmade with essential oils in St. James come in bath balms, sugar scrubs, bath salts, bath soaps and candles. Unique scents include Charcoal + Clay bar soap, Lavender + Rose bath balm, Coffee Scrub and Beer Soap.
quick | bites
Iberico Tapas y Vino, 412 Rte. 25A, 631-307-5620: Authentic Spanish tapas dishes are made for those gearing their energy up or winding down. Consider making your own board of Spanish cheese and cured meats — or go for a classic such as chorizo a la parilla (a grilled platter of chorizo, morcilla and chistorra sausages). The Trattoria, 532 N. Country Rd., 631-584-3518, thetrattoriarestaurant.com: Rustic Italian has been on the menu here for years, from lasagna Bolognese to spaghetti all’Amatriciana. Cash only.