It’s Christmas open house time!

Mary Dawson

Did you know it’s only seven weeks until Christmas? It is true — the older we get, the faster time seems to fly by. All the more reason to enjoy the weeks leading up to the holidays. The Montrose Shopping Park has had a Christmas Open House tradition among two of its gift stores for many years now. This is the 24th Christmas for Victori Ana and the 11th for Mountain Rose Gifts. Both of these stores paper their windows and close for the whole week after Halloween to transform them into Christmas wonderlands. The current recession has wiped out so many gift and home décor stores as the world has given way to large chains with mass-produced goods. We are all the more thankful for the stores in the MSP that are still able to do what they love. Stores like Victori Ana and Mountain Rose shop all year long for the much-anticipated Christmas season, hand selecting goodies and providing services, like free gift wrap, that you won’t find at chain stores.

Early Saturday morning, Nov. 6, both stores will reopen to the public  – a grand way to kick off the season. Shoppers “in the know” realize that many of the best items sell out in this first weekend, never to be seen again. They enjoy getting “first crack” and then spending the day in Montrose, having lunch and shopping. This year Victori Ana, at 2311 Honolulu Ave., has the newest collection of their Mark Roberts collectable fairies, the exquisite Lady Primrose bath line, high-end Voluspa candles, an entire collection of luxury soaps from Europe, and a brand new category – Victori Ana “kitchen.” On Saturday only, Carol of Absolute Elegance will be selling her one-of-a-kind collection of vintage table linens and towels. Victori Ana is known for their giftwrap. This year everything will be boxed, tissue cradled, and paper wrapped in gold paper with aubergine ribbon. How elegant!

Mountain Rose Gifts, in their charming new location, 3808½ Ocean View Blvd. (next to COPPS), has several categories they specialize in. This year brings a brand new collection of matching wreaths, garlands, candle centerpieces, and piks, the Frasier Fir home fragrance line by Thymes, lots of irresistible holiday figurines for the mantle, an array of gift-boxed Christmas serving pieces, and their all-new gourmet food gift section. They also specialize in beautiful ornaments and piks to decorate the tree. You will want to check out their website’s blog tab throughout the season for the “inside scoop.”

Thank you to the thousands of you who came out to celebrate Halloween Spooktacular with us! Please check blog for pics of some great costumes. Who knows – you may be there!

Mary Dawson serves as vice president for the MSPA board. She and her family own Revelation Tops and Mountain Rose Gifts.