In the Spirit of Christmas

Times are tough these days.  With the economy plunging, the holiday season seems to be getting less attention – less excitement than usual.  Businesses are struggling to make ends meet as people are tightening the purse strings.  But, the plain fact of the matter is that no one is going to forfeit Christmas altogther.  While we may keep a tighter budget and purchase fewer gifts, most people will still be buying presents to pass joyfully on to loved ones. 

Knowing this, it is a good time to look at the small businesses around us and try to give them as much support as we possibly can.  There is no denying the awesome ease of some of the mega stores out there.  One stop shopping is indeed appealing.  But there are many fun and interesting shops and businesses in the St. Louis area that will not only offer gifts that are, perhaps, a little more unique than your average blue light special, but they will also give you a sense of pride in where you live and a connection to your “neighbors” that the mega stores simply cannot match.

There are also so many talented artisans in our area.  From photography to art to crafy knick knacks, St. Louis has something to offer for eveyone.

With that said, I would like to offer a couple of suggestions of area businesses that you can support.  I post this with just one warning: I am a girl.  I like things that tend to be, uh, slightly girly.  So for you men that are reading this, sorry.  But, keep reading anyway because you could use this information to your advantage, gaining senstivity points with your special someone.  Just a suggestion…

1.  When I was in college, I studied overseas in a country where hot tea is not just a treat, it’s a staple.  In fact, for the four months that I was there, I only had the opportunity to get a cold drink a handful of times.  I had no choice, then, but to fall in love with a nice, steaming cup of hot tea.  After returning to the States, I brought my newfound love with me and began searching out tea houses wherever I went.  I broke my husband into the world of tea rooms and scones on our honeymoon when I scheduled us to have High Tea at The Empress hotel in Victoria, British Columbia.  These days, while I can’t say he gets giddy with delight at the thought of a well cut finger sandwich or a small goblet of Earl Grey flavored chocolate mousse, he does indeed have an appreciation for a robust black tea.  He is, in my opinion, a well rounded man.

Now, Ballwin is a far cry from Victoria, British Columbia.  Despite this, however, there is a lovely little tea shop located here, just off of Clayton and Kehrs Mill Rd.  The Ladies of Lucerne tea house is a sweet little spot where they serve beautiful arrangements of scones, sandwiches, pettifores and other delicious finger foods.  They always have a wide assortment of teas and you are served with dainty little teapots and tea cups (I warned you that this was going to get girly!).  They offer high tea throughout the week, and several times a year they put on a special Saturday tea with different guests.  In two weeks I am taking my daughter to their Christmas Gingerbread tea for children.  I am blissfully excited.  If you are looking for a relaxing, laid back afternoon away, I highly suggest visiting The Ladies of Lucerne where you can drink your worries away and still be able to legally drive home afterwards.   Oh, and before you leave, make sure to look through the little shop attached to the resturant.  They have a variety of beautiful items that are very reasonablly priced and that would make great Christmas gifts!

2. Equally as girly is a new shop that has opened in Chesterfield Valley.  Whipt Cream specializes in cakes and cupcakes for any occasion from weddings to birthday’s to superbowl parties.  Their cakes are exquisite and they taste as good as they look, though it is difficult to cut them up once you see them.  The cupcakes are equally as delicious and can be decorated to fit any theme. 

3. Finally, shifting gears slightly, over the past couple of years, I have consistently gotten my kids’ pictures taken by, in my opinion, one of the most gifted and talented photographers in the St. Louis area.  Tarah, at In the Beginning Photography, takes some of the most spectacular pictures I have ever seen.  Specializing in infants/children and high school seniors, Tarah deftly pulls the personality of her subjects out in visually brilliant photographs.  She is very professional and personable and has such a beautiful eye for her craft.  Tarah has the unique ability to look through a lens and capture a moment with artistic beauty and make it look effortless and natural.  She’s wildly gifted and her pictures are evidence of her talent.

So there are a few of my personal (albeit girly) recommendations.  Now it’s your turn.  What are some of your favorite businesses locally?  Where do you like to shop, eat, etc…?  Leave a comment and share.  Let’s support our neighbors this holiday season and into the new year.

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One Response to “In the Spirit of Christmas”

  1. Great ideas! Excitement doesn’t depend on the price of presents. The card made with hands can bring much more joy sometimes than the most expensive present. It depends on the atmosphere created in the family. Love, attention and warmth are priceless! And it may happen that the holiday spent in the toughest times can be the happiest!

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