When Sue and Ira Sealy started St. Nick’s in 1976, it was their dream to bring the magic of Christmas to the Denver area. For the first 10 years, they sold their unique ornaments and holiday décor through seasonal pop-up stores all over the Front Range. The venture was so popular that they were able to secure a permanent location in 1986.
St. Nick’s Christmas and Collectibles, a 10,000-square-foot wonderland near Santa Fe and Belleview, is open 300 days a year, and it’s billed as “the West’s largest Christmas store.” The Sealys also brought on their son, Shawn, as a partner, making the store a true family business.
After nearly 50 years of all Christmas all the time, Sue isn’t tired of the holiday at all. In fact, one of her favorite things is completely redesigning the store each year, beginning in February when new merchandise starts arriving. They artfully decorate 90 trees in different themes, from classics like nativity, angels, and Santa, to several new themes each year, like this year’s “Amethyst Frost,” Sue’s current favorite. She also enjoys helping hand-select every ornament from around the world, many of which can be personalized in-store.
Visiting with customers and hearing about their holiday traditions is especially rewarding, Sue adds. “A very popular tradition with families is to make a special trip to St. Nick’s so everyone can pick an ornament for that year, to commemorate an event, trip, or achievement.”
Last year, a woman visiting Colorado from France shopped at St. Nick’s on every single day of her trip. By the end, she had amassed so many ornaments, figurines, and decorations that she had to buy another large suitcase to get everything home.
“The world is full of Christmas lovers,” Sue says, “and they travel far and wide to shop at St. Nick’s.”