EVERETT – Christmas House plans to open on Thursday so families can do their holiday shopping at no cost.
The local nonprofit has turned the gym at the Everett Boys and Girls Club into a festive gift shop. Green and red paper banners hang throughout the gymnasium, and decorated trees sit on tables filled with toys for babies, children and teens.
This year, Christmas House plans to provide gifts to 8,500 children from 3,000 low-income families.
The store is expected to be open Thursday through December 17.
Christmas House volunteers distribute tickets to buyers from 6:30 a.m. or 7 a.m. until one hour before closing. Tickets are the admission of buyers to the Christmas House. About 200 tickets are distributed during the week. On Saturdays, 300 can be distributed depending on the number of donations.
People with disabilities or with health problems can make an appointment and avoid the wait by calling 425-338-2273.
In recent years, families have lined up in the parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club. They waited all night for the Christmas House to open. Parents wanted to make sure their children had gifts on Christmas morning.
Gregg Milne, chairman of the Christmas House board, said there was no cause for concern. Families can stay home overnight and away from the cold.
“No matter what day you come here, you’ll have the same opportunity to get the same freebies,” Milne said.
It doesn’t matter if a parent goes shopping on December 1 or December 17. Parents with a teenager can always choose a Christmas stocking; a small and a large gift or item of clothing; and a pair of gloves, a scarf or a hat. Each family can also choose a book and a gift from the family gift table.
The Christmas House always accepts donations. Milne said they needed books, as well as gifts and clothing for children aged 9 to 18.
Buyers are requested to bring documents proving their identity, the identity of a spouse or other significant person living in the household, the guardianship of each child and the dates of birth of the children. Parents will also need to show that they have an address in Snohomish County and are 150% or less of the federal poverty line. For examples of acceptable documentation go to www.christmas-house.org/shop/
Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; [email protected]
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm;
Saturday 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Location: 2316 12th St., Everett
For more information, visit www.christmas-house.org/