No matter where we are right now or where we’d like to be the rest of the year, that old song rings true as temperatures drop, expectations rise and Santa begins the pre-flight check on his sleigh. There is no place like home for the holidays.
And home for me is a small colonial town in New Jersey.
Fifteen minutes from Philadelphia, ninety minutes from New York and a world away in time, the historic Village of Haddonfield takes on a special magic every Christmas.
It all begins the day after Thanksgiving with candlelight shopping and weekend carriage rides through the center of town to the delight of young and old.
Now wrap up tightly and let’s take a stroll along Haddonfield’s main street.
First stop, the local fabric store where a group of carolers in top hat and muffler has stopped by to offer a hearty “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” in return for a warm smile and a hot cup of wassail.
Have they left Tiny Tim outside to warm himself by the fire of roasting chestnuts? Or perhaps he stayed behind to feed a shiny red apple to the carriage horse.
A few doors down we pass Accent Studio which features the work of local artists. The glow from the candlelight illuminates the beautiful glass creations displayed in the windows (Artists l/r:Richard Stava, Little River Hot Glass).
Shall we stop for a cup of tea at the Picket Fence?
This is a wonderful place to pick up every accessory imaginable for the perfect afternoon tea.
Here we are at the Haddonfield Floral Company where I buy all my flowers.
How can you possibly resist this adorable snowman with his little twig arms wrapped around a beautiful Christmas bouquet?
He’s even cuter than the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Don’t you just want to poke his fat belly?
And a little farther along Kings Highway we come to one of my favorite shops in all of Haddonfield, Georgie Girl.
This delightful, two-story boutique is a treasure trove of clothes and accessories with a decidedly European flair.
The second floor is devoted to gorgeous lingerie ranging from cute and cuddly to drop dead glam. Cynthia and her staff are as knowledgeable as they are helpful. I wouldn’t buy my lingerie anywhere else.
And………….want to know a little Christmas Secret? Rumor has it that Mrs. Claus, herself, is a regular customer. Who do you think puts the rosy in Santa’s cheeks???
And, of course, no visit to Haddonfield would be complete without wishing our oldest resident a very Merry Christmas.
The hadrosaurus foullkii was the first intact dinosaur skeleton every to be discovered. And she was found right here in Haddonfield.
I think she looks just fabulous for her age, don’t you?
Right about now your feet must be starting to ache. Time to stop by the Haddonfield Inn, pull up a comfy chair by a cozy fire, sip some mulled wine and feel the warmth of family and friends.
I hope you have enjoyed your Christmas visit to my town as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.
Come back again very soon.
Until then, may I wish you and yours all the love and beauty of this joyous season.
(All photos courtesy of Town of Haddonfield's official website.)