It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – at M.C. Twinklin’s in Lilburn

By Heidi Campbell

With holiday music piping through the speakers, one cannot enter M.C. Twinklin’s Christmas store without becoming completely immersed in the holiday spirit. They opened for the season on September 29
th, and the entire store is now decked out with gorgeous decorations, collectibles, unique ornaments, lights, decorated trees, and trimming for all doors and staircases. “My late brother-in-law and I opened this business together in 1982,” shares Cheryl Gaston, the owner of the seasonal wonderland. “The previous owners weren’t into Christmas, and I wasn’t into working all year! I’ve now been in this business for forty-nine years because I enjoy it! I always say ‘Fa-la-la-la-la! If you are not having fun with your job, then you need a new job!’”

Gaston moved to Georgia in order to pursue her dream of finding a career that would allow her to travel and enjoy each day. She finds joy in managing her store and her elves, who are, according to Gaston, “the happiest elves around!” She enjoys the excited faces of the children who come into the store. “I remember one little girl came into the store and grabbed my hand and pulled me all around the store,” recalls Gaston. “She was so excited to point to everything! People always ask me if I like Christmas, and I often will say no, and pause… then say, ‘I LOVE Christmas!’”

M.C. Twinklin’s, whose initials not only stand for the original owners Mike and Cheryl, but also Merry Christmas, is the sole “permanent tree” retailer in the Atlanta area carrying Neuman Trees, a small company who, according to Gaston, “…specializes in making great trees.” Customers can opt for pre-lighted or unlighted trees in sizes ranging from two feet to twelve feet, with special orders possible for trees up to thirty feet. They offer seventeen pine and spruce tree styles ranging from slim to full, and colors including deep green or frosted. Gaston is completely willing to individualize the trees to meet her customer’s need, and says, “Each year, we sell seven or eight fully ornamented trees. Our decorator Pat Whitford goes to the customers’ houses and sets them all up, schedule permitting. Aside from the trees, she decorates over sixty houses each year! It’s one of our many services to get people ready for the season.”

Along with tree sales and set up and decorating services, M.C. Twinklin’s offers numerous other services for customers including custom bows, wreaths, and floral arrangements. They offer a wide range of collectible products including the popular Annalee Dolls, Byers Choice figures, and Radko ornaments, just to name a few. The store is literally wall-to-wall Christmas décor, making it an excellent place to visit to get into the holiday spirit. “What sets us apart is that we are really decorated more like a house than a store,” explains Gaston. “We use items that people would like to give their friends, like collections of Falcons ornaments and five different age groups of ballerinas! We change up our designs each year so there’s always new products for our customers.”

Gaston enjoys her community and offers several yearly decorating seminars, including mantle and tree decorating, ribbon and wreath making, and tree topper class. For fifteen years, M.C. Twinklin’s has donated a tree to the American Cancer Society, and Gaston also donates numerous products for non-profit groups to raffle for their causes. She donates time and fundraising help to Hospice each year and says, “One of my customers brings in a wreath for her local mountain Hospice group, and I decorate it each year. They raise a lot of great money for their Hospice event each year.”

The lights, the colors, the decorations, and the trees make a visit to M.C. Twinklin’s a must on the holiday “to-do” list. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The only days they close during the season are Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year ’s Day. The decorations will inspire every shopper. According to Gaston, “We are one of the seven wonderlands of the world!”

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