Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-28-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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the home during the holidays. Floral arrangements are also a big seller as customers call to order deliveries for friends and loved ones they might not see on the holiday. "At Christmastime, like a cou- ple of days before, I could have three, four drivers going because everybody wants to send out something," she said. Lori Calise, an employee at the Diamond Hill Road store, said that custom- ers like to stick to the classics when it comes to Christmas decorating, as tradition is an important part of holiday celebrations. "People tend to go traditional when they go Christmas. It kind of brings back all those warm fuzzy feelings, so people like tra- dition," she said. Still, not all traditions have survived the test of time. Sales of floral centerpieces for holiday dinner tables have gone down, and employees at the store said it's been a long time since any- one's asked for mistletoe. Becker said the plant was a more popu- lar item in years past, when it was a common sight in the entry- ways of homes. "If you were going from the kitchen into the living room, it would be placed up above so standing under it, you could get a kiss," she said, explaining that in olden days, a guest might give the homeowner a polite kiss on the hand. "That was back in the day," she added with a smile. "Once you got into the next century, you did it on the lips." While Becker remembers buy- ing mistletoe at flower shops when she was younger, today, she said, you'd have better luck finding it at a big-box store. Stores like Walmart, Lowe's and Stop & Shop have presented stiff competition for florists in recent years as they stock flowers and houseplants and sell them to shoppers going about their busy routine. Becker esti- mates her sales of poinsettias have gone down by about two-thirds over the past decade as the number of places carrying them expands. She cau- tioned shoppers to be wary of the quality at large chain stores where plants may have spent many weeks in transit before making it into a buyer's hands. "Everybody's in this disposable world where if it's cheap, they're buying it. Quality doesn't even come into the factor," she said. The industry also suffers from a lack of new workers as younger generations lose interest in the field – it's not glamorous behind the curtain by any stretch of the imagination, said Becker – but the shop, she said, is going strong, with regular customers like local churches still looking to stock up for their holiday displays. And with Christmas right around the corner, it's only a matter of time before the orders start coming in. THE VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2018 CHRISTMAS IN THE VALLEY 2018 17 BECKER From preceding page

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