In November 1992, Dave Francis first picked up a carving knife and a block of wood and began a journey that turned pastime to passion – and a life-long dedication to creating one-of-a-kind Santas. Read more...
Some twenty-five years ago, Department 56 began as part of Bachman's, a premiere retail florist in Minneapolis. Bachman's used a numbering system to identify each of its departments. The number assigned to wholesale gift imports division was, you guessed it, 56. Read more...
The Spirit of Christmas has been delighting visitors and locals alike for over 25 years. Located in the town of Banff on the main street, Banff Avenue in Banff National Park, its 5,000 square feet is dedicated to “Christmastime…Specialtime…Everytime”. While we are Canada’s largest year-round Christmas store, we also focus on Halloween, Easter, Canada’s four seasons and Canadiana, as well as unique every day gifts.
The Spirit of Christmas has a large selection of collectibles in Department 56 , including Dickens Village, North Pole, Snow Village, Christmas in the City and Halloween Village. We have a great selection of D56 Snowbabies, along with Jim Shore and his Disney collection , Painted Ponies, plus nativity sets, and Canadian carver, Dave Francis’ one-of-a-kind hand-carved Santas.
Our extraordinary ornament selection includes many variations within gold, silver, frost, pewter, romance, nativity, Santa, snowmen, western, Canadian, sports and professions and the ever popular - personalized ornament! Every year we inscribe over 10,000 personalized sentiments on ornaments “free” of charge! These ornaments become keepsakes: marking a family’s trip to Banff; marking a baby’s first Christmas; marking a special year, a special day or a special moment! Our ornaments are of the highest quality. A good ornament is not one-sided and is made of either resin, glass, acrylic or wood – never plastic – a visible seam on an ornament is never a good sight!
Our store features the unique – the trendy – and the traditional. We will put an entire look or theme together for a tree and at anytime in the year guests can gain new ideas to augment their existing traditions or completely transform their look or even add a new one! We have numerous trees decorated from the traditional or emerging fashion colours to fun and funky or lodge chic! Whether your tree resides uptown, downtown or out of town – we have you covered!
Because Banff is known to have a large bear population, you’ll find a life-sized “teddy-bear” grizzly in our store. Many a guest has gone home with the family photo posed with our Mom and baby cub! You’ll find a huge selection of black bear and grizzly bear ornaments, sit abouts and other bear motif items. One of our most popular pieces is a black bear and moose tic-tac-toe set – retailing for $19.99 – packaged and ready to travel! You’ll also find jumping-jack Mounties and wood carved Mounties – one of Canada’s national symbols known the world over. The Great Canadian Rocky Mountains are creatively depicted on a variety of items ranging from mugs to puzzles, ornaments to wall plaques.
The Spirit of Christmas features a shop-in-shop of Pandora Jewelry. Pandora is an exciting and fascinating series of jewelry that allows you create your own personal look and recall those unforgettable moments. Each piece is handcrafted in sterling silver and 14k gold of exquisite Danish design.
We pride ourselves on exceptional service from the reception you receive as you enter the store to phone calls and emails and to world-wide deliveries from the “elves” themselves!