Storefront charm

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An exquisite, flocked tree adorned with golden angel wings stops everyone as they enter Margo’s Antiques and Gifts in downtown Cullman. (Bryan Messersmith)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman’s charms, especially at Christmastime, have made the city a shopping destination for many local and out of town holiday shoppers. Part of the charm comes from the beautiful and festive storefronts throughout Cullman’s Warehouse District and Historic Downtown. In the heart of it all is Margo’s Antiques and Gifts where the windows are a gorgeous preview of the countless treasures within.

Margo Messersmith began her business nearly 50 years ago in a small room in her late husband’s business. As her inventory and business grew, the need for a bigger location did, too. Messersmith has been at her current location at 206 First Ave. SE for 35 years.

Margo’s is located in what was once part of the Stiefelmeyer department store. The large glass front windows were made for wonderful displays and Margo’s does not disappoint. An exquisite, flocked tree adorned with golden angel wings stops everyone as they enter the store.

Messersmith said of the gorgeous golden angel wings, “People really like that, and I have had those wings for many, many years and I can’t remember how long it has been. I had walked into this showroom and there was this angel tree and I said, ‘I have to have that.’”

Messersmith said she does regret only buying one set of wings, but she decided that this year, the world could really use an angel tree.

She smiled, “Everybody’s wanted to buy those wings, but I’m not going to sell them just yet. We may need another angel tree.”

Another window that is wildly popular this year is the Grinch window.

“We sold all the Grinches early and so we ended up putting some snowmen in there,” she said.

Messersmith and her staff have one section of the store that is Christmas year-round. She said decorating the windows and the rest of the store takes three weeks.

Messersmith said of this year’s Christmas season, “It’s been pretty good. I’ve been pleased, but if we could just get rid of this pandemic.”

Hot this year have been nativities and Jim Shore pieces.

“The majority of my trade is from out-of-town, she said. “We are drawing a lot of people from Huntsville, Jasper, Birmingham, Athens and Florence. There’s also people who have shopped here for years and years. I have been pleased this Christmas.”

There are a few popular items Margo’s sold out of this year, including almost all the 28” and 30” Santas.

Messersmith explained, “I was beginning to think, ‘Oh no, maybe I didn’t buy enough.’ You know, I didn’t know if we would be closed. I didn’t know what was going to happen and so I was a little unsure about what to do.”

She recalled past Christmases and the open house events, saying, “In the past, we would have Christmas Open House and there were just so many people. We had an open house this year and it was fair, but it was nothing like it had been in the past.”

In years past, Messersmith made brownies and other goodies for the open house events, but she laughed, “I got smart and now I don’t do that.”

Messersmith said she is already getting ready for the spring.

“Santa Clauses, deer, rabbits and nativities- that’s things that I like, and I tend to order that.”

Whether you still have shopping to do or you are out with the family looking for great Christmas decorations, stop by and enjoy the joy and beauty Margo’s Antiques and Gifts has to offer.

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