The Whitney Shop window display

New Canaan’s Bright Lights

The Whitney Shop window display

I love window-shopping at Christmas, provided the shops are charmingly decorated. It’s a pity that Sassafras, in SoNo, which always was dazzlingly spiffed up, is gone now. Ugh.

But: Elm Street remains a window-shopper’s paradise. About this time of year, if you arrive from Route 124 at sunset or so, the first inviting views of Wave’s window, wide with clear-white lights on Main Street give you the pixie-dust feeling, and you know that the street around the corner and up the hill will not disappoint.

Some stores, such as Sallea Antiques, manage to present elements of a story: Here are the lights, greenery and specifics, as it were; you put together the “narrative.” On the other end are windows with ambience and mood, particularly with the lights in elm’s window, where the chestnut soup inside also adds to the serene holiday vibe. Makes you feel like Christmas. Same for Earth Garden, with that reindeer in the window. Charming.

Earth Garden

There are shops that, as a gent, I don’t have reason to visit, but the windows pull me in, such as Walin & Wolff, though I’m not one for Michael Kors bags. It’s nice to browse, though I do find the more colorful lights and greenery in The Whitney Shop, up the way, to be a nice departure.

The draw, though, of classic American looks in Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines, across the street, is easy to see. It’s their wreathy, festive attire. I’m in. Ann Taylor does a nice job, too, for the ladies.

That said, the shop that has won me over this year is Design Solutions New Canaan. Its windows are glittery, even a little busy, but ornamentally gorgeous—there is a magic, yes. They drew me in, and when I entered, I loved it.

Design Solutions

So even if you don’t find something to buy on New Canaan’s shopping boulevard, you will enjoy looking—which is half the fun of holiday strolling.

Merry Christmas.

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