Happy weekend,
       
      The holiday’s are my favorite time of the year to decorate, bake and host gatherings.  Also I love to visit my favorite boutique shops and see them decorated for the holidays.  I went  to the OC for business the other day and on the way home I stopped at Roger’s Garden in Newport Beach.  They never dissapoint with their gorgeous displays, abundant evergreens and the timing was just perfect to squeeze lunch in at the Farm House restaurant.
       
      On the way home listing to Christmas music I began thinking of…
       
      A favorite childhood memory.
       One of my family’s Holiday traditions I looked forward to was when our family all piled into the country squire station wagon, remember those?  Ours wasRed w/wood paneled sides.  We would drive from our small town about 50 miles to downtown Chicago to see the Holidays decorations along Michigan Ave.  We always dressed up, my Mom and I usually wore velvet!  She usually wore her beautiful fur and I thought she was so elegant.  We’d stroll the sidewalks listing to the carolers and eyeing all the toys in the windows.  Each window had magical displays, we would walk till our feet were just about froze. Then we’d go inside the stores for a little shopping.  Eventually we would make our way through the crowds until we came to a holt.  We’d fall into a long line, and I would take out my crinkled list and practice it until it was my turn to see Santa Clause.  After the intense wait to see him, we went to a special place for dinner in the city.  If we were lucky, we would come out of the restaurant to see some Christmas snow falling. 
       
        I’m certain those traditions of the Michigan Avenue holiday windows inspired me years back when I had my own retail store.
       Every holiday I went all out to make my store windows displays magical.  Spending hours cutting evergreen branches from my yard, listening to Holiday music and making my own rustic fresh wreaths and garlands.  It was fun to be creative and I enjoyed preparing the window displays for my customers and all who passed by
       Sweetly I do remember occasions when customers asked if they could take their childs Christmas card photo in my store. 
      I still love to decorate with fresh greens here at home.  I cut them from some trees on our property.
      Our Vintage Garden Folly is my favorite place to decorate for the holidays and special gatherings. 
      Someday I dream of making this a working fireplace, wouldn’t it be cozy?
       
      On my IG feed I posted a little video yesterday with this decor.
      at
      casualloveselgance
       
      I Hope your weekend finds you right smack dab in the Holiday season, singing Christmas carols, dancing in the kitchen with cookies in the oven and making new traditions.
      &
      Dreaming of ones you’ll always cherish.
       
      Happy Weekend!
      xo,
      Gail

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