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Warm The Children

Northfield shop offers handmade holiday decor

John and Jennifer Buxton with daugher Macy, 3, in the Buxton Christmas Barn, new this year. They offer a selection of Christmas firs from Cranston Chrismas Tree Farm in Ashfield, as well as local crafts, ornaments, and wreaths, garlands, and door swags made by the Buxtons themselves.

John and Jennifer Buxton with daugher Macy, 3, in the Buxton Christmas Barn, new this year. They offer a selection of Christmas firs from Cranston Chrismas Tree Farm in Ashfield, as well as local crafts, ornaments, and wreaths, garlands, and door swags made by the Buxtons themselves.

NORTHFIELD — When John and Jennifer Buxton decided to open a Christmas tree and gift shop, they had ulterior motives.

“We were hoping to use the store as a way to meet more people in the community and neighborhood, have some fun, and possibly raise money for charity while doing it,” said John Buxton, who’s lived in town for about five years. “It’s been a blast so far.”

Buxton Christmas Barn is now open at 119 Cross Road, and offers a selection of local Christmas trees and gifts from area crafters. There are also wreaths, garlands, and door swags made by the Buxtons themselves with some hand-me-down equipment.

“My in-laws, John and Debe Plummer, run Plummer’s Sugar House. For quite a while, they made their own wreaths and garlands to sell,” said John Buxton. “They gave us the machinery to make them, some advice, and a crash-course in how to use the equipment. That was a big reason to do it, having someone in-the-know who could help.”

He said his wife is also handy at making crafts, and had hoped to make gifts to sell at the barn, but found it a bit difficult to do while 8 months pregnant with their second child.

“We’re really pushing to have everything be as local as possible,” said John Buxton. “We have a few local items, and hope to have more next year.”

The couple offer a selection of firs from Cranston’s Christmas Tree Farm in Ashfield, and also use the farm’s greenery in their wreaths, garlands and swags.

They’re also selling ornaments handmade by a group of Ashfield women, called Ashfield Needles and Threads, who craft the gifts as a way to give back. Proceeds from the sales of their ornaments go to local charities fighting cancer.

The Ashfield group and the Buxtons aren’t the only ones feeling charitable this Christmas season.

“We had Santa here for our grand opening,” said Buxton. “We took a percentage of each sale to donate to Warm the Children, which was Santa’s charity of choice.” The Recorder’s annual Warm the Children drive provides winter clothing for up to 1,000 needy children every year.

“Charity was a big motivator in opening the shop,” he continued. “Every year, my wife and I say we should work at a soup kitchen, or do something else for the community. Usually we aren’t able to, so this is our way to give back.”

If things go well, said Buxton, the couple hopes to either add a third cause to the list, and said next year they may pick a different charity to give to each weekend.

If supplies hold up, the Buxtons hope to stay open right through Christmas Eve, for those last-minute shoppers.

Buxton Christmas Barn is open weekdays from 5 to 8 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, at 119 Cross Road.

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