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Ask a Shop Clerk: Paul Prianti

Christmas Cottage, 871 Seventh Ave., nr. 56th St.; 212-333-7380


Is this the only year-round holiday store in Manhattan?
There’s one other guy who just opened up in the South Street Seaport. But we've been doing this a long time. It's a family business—my mother has been working here with us since the beginning, and my three sons help out on the weekends.

Do sales drop off right after the holidays?
Surprisingly, January is usually a pretty good month because people come out of the woodwork for bargains. In this economy, though, people may be getting deals before Christmas.

What's your favorite bargain in the store?
Probably the nutcrackers ($16.95) and Polonaise glass ornaments ($29.95). But you can decorate an entire themed tree in here for a decent price.

What are your best sellers?
New York–themed merchandise, like taxicab ornaments and New York water globes, are really our staples—it’s like going to a grocery store and looking for milk and bread. We’re also selling a lot of Sex and the City ornaments this year. They're shaped like high heels.

I notice you're playing Christmas music. Do you ever get sick of it?
Sirius radio has a 24-hour Christmas station. We play it all day long, twelve hours a day. I block it out. I don’t even hear it anymore.


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