There are a great choices for every variety of celebratory meal this season.
The holiday season is a time for friends, family, fun and feasts! Whenever you get together for the holidays—Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa—a great glass of wine can help make the most of your meal.
Whether you’re hosting the event or choosing a gift, here are suggestions to bring good cheer.
For the many traditional dishes served at Christmas dinner, each calls for a different style of wine. Ham, for example, tastes best served with wines with some sweetness, like a German Riesling. Another option is a chenin blanc from the Vouvray region of France, with its gorgeous off-dry taste. Try Domaine Pichot Domaine Le Peu de La Moriette Vouvray 2015 (92 points Wine Enthusiast, $18.99) for its lovely minerality with touches of stone fruit and ginger.
When choosing wine, remember that sweetness in food makes wine taste less sweet and more acidic, so select a wine that’s sweeter than the dish. If your ham is honey-baked or brown sugar-glazed, a good choice is Moscato d’Asti or Alasia Brachetto d’Acqui 2015 ($11.99), a light red with strawberry, raspberry and white pepper flavors.
For turkey, stick with whites that match the flavors in your side dishes, such as Neil Ellis Sauvignon Blanc Groenekloof 2015 (89 points Wine Advocate, $16.99). To pair with side dishes heavy on rich spices, try Penner-Ash Viognier Oregon 2014 (94 points Wine Enthusiast, $24.99), which has exotic spice and floral accents.
If you love reds, Beaujolais is a great red wine option for ham and turkey pairings. The nouveau styles are lighter and much fruitier, while the Cru Beaujolais have more structure and finesse. Georges Duboeuf Château de St. Amour 2015 (92 points James Suckling, $21.99) is silky smooth with red fruit and wet stone on the palate.
Another go-to choice is pinot noir, especially the elegant styles from Burgundy. A great value from a very small production winery, Domaine Frederic Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur 2015 ($32.99) shines with berry, perfume and supple structure.
For a meal with prime rib as the main attraction, try something bold like Les Hauts de Canon la Gaffeliere Saint Emilion 2014 (95 points Wine Spectator, $42.99), a well-structured Bordeaux with plum, tobacco and blackberry flavors.
On Christmas Eve, if you’re at a Feast of the Seven Fishes—an Italian-American tradition—stick with Italian wines that work with a variety of seafood dishes as well as pasta. Le 7 Torri Fiano di Avellino 2015 ($11.99) has good acidity and bright lemon and stone fruit notes with minerality to balance the complexity of the flavors on the table. Or choose Cavicchioli Vigna del Cristo Lambrusco di Sorbara 2016 ($14.99), a refreshing, light red sparkling wine with notes of violets and red fruits that also goes well with fried fish, vegetables and heartier sauces.
And what wines for Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, with a nightly menorah lighting, dreidel games, prayers, gift giving and food? Try O’Dwyer’s Creek Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand 2015 ($16.99), a crisp white with tropical fruit, orange, citrus and grass hints for a great match with latkes, kugel and smoked salmon.
A single vineyard wine with dense truffle, tobacco and black currant on the palate, Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Series Galilee 2014 (94 points Wine Enthusiast, $24.99) has the fullness to stand up to brisket.
An Indian holiday celebrating the triumph of good over evil, Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights and is celebrated with games, fireworks and parties with large feasts and lots of sweets. Choose a riesling with sweetness to tame the spiciness of the meal and to match the delicious desserts. A good choice is Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling Spätlese Zeltinger Sonnenuhr 2015 ($38.99), which has ripe peach and apricot flavors balanced by smokiness from the slate soil.
Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration of African-American culture, where each day focuses on a virtue of the community. One day focuses on supporting African-American-owned businesses, so why not drink wines from African-American-owned wineries?
Mouton noir are unique garage-made wines from Oregon grapes sourced by André Mack. The line includes O.P.P. (Other People’s) Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2014, with cherry, spice and earthy notes, and O.P.P. Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2015 ($19.99), bursting with apple, peach and pear.
Charles Woodson Wines come from a retired football player who discovered his love for wine in Napa while training with the Oakland Raiders. The wines are produced from Bordeaux varietals from a vineyard in Calistoga and include TWENTYFOUR Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2010 (93 points Wine Spectator, #58 on Top 100 of 2014, $89.99), with dense licorice and dark berry flavors, and TWENTYFOUR Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2015 ($24.99). As you may have guessed, 24 was Woodson’s jersey number with the Raiders.
Finally, for New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is a time to reflect on the past year while making resolutions for the coming one. And, on this occasion it’s all about the bubbly.
For an inexpensive, dry sparkling wine, prosecco is a great way to go. Lighter than Champagne, Bianca Vigna Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene Brut NV ($15.99) has a nice mix of fruitiness and minerality.
Of course, if you want to go big, there’s nothing like classic Champagne. One of my favorites is Krug Champagne Grande Cuvee NV (96 points James Suckling, $159.99), layered with complex flavors of grapefruit, pear, chalk, nuts and spiced biscuits.
Rosé sparkling wine is pretty and festive, but tends to be more expensive than white sparklers. For a great quality wine at half the price, try a crémant (a traditional-method French sparkling wine made outside Champagne). Château du Petit Thouars Crémant de Loire Rosé NV ($19.99) is crisp and refreshing with subtle hints of strawberry and baked bread.
On the sweeter side, the still serious Schramsberg Cremant Demi Sec Napa Valley 2012 ($39.99) has delicious flavors of marzipan, white peach, baked apples and candied flowers.
In the end, no matter what holiday you’re celebrating, may it be full of love, good company and great wine. Cheers!
Kayleigh Thompson has worked in the wine industry for over seven years and earned the Certified Specialist of Wine certification from the Society of Wine Educators. She works as a Wine Specialist at the Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection store in King of Prussia, on DeKalb Pike. Learn more at Fine WineAndGoodSpirits.com.
‘Tis the season to visit six towns filled with holiday celebration!
Join in the endless fun as area towns transform into winter wonderlands this holiday season. As holiday cheer fills the air, experience the unique character that each destination offers as you wander along the streets for shopping, sightseeing and more.
Entertainment, tree lightings and parades galore await—so come out and celebrate!
O’ Little Town of Malvern
The holidays begin early this year in Malvern. On December 1st and 2nd, celebrate Malvern’s Victorian Christmas, highlighted by the lighting of the Christmas tree in Burke Park. Visit with Santa at the Pavilion, warm up to beautiful music by the Great Valley Symphony Orchestra at the First Baptist Church of Malvern starting at 6:55 p.m., and stroll King Street to visit shops, enjoy more music, children’s shows, carriage rides and more.
On Saturday morning, head back to King Street, taking in all that Malvern has to offer, for more shopping as you enjoy the holiday decorations and cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate on a free horse and carriage ride. To escape the cold, grab the kids and make a gingerbread house at the Malvern Bible Chapel.
The holiday fun continues with A Sugartown Christmas outside town. Explore this timeless nearby village and learn about Victorian Christmas traditions. Decorate cookies in the Carriage Museum and make Victorian-style ornaments to put on your own Christmas tree. End your day with a visit to Santa at the 1805 William Garrett House, complete with holiday treats and cocoa.
The little town of Malvern is a perfect holiday destination!
Stroll Down Santa Claus Lane in Wayne
Santa Claus is comin’ to town! Yes, Santa will make his way to Wayne during the Wayne Business Association’s Annual Christmas in Wayne weekend with Friday, December 1st, as day one of the fun-filled weekend. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Radnor Fire Co., 121 S. Wayne Ave., for photos with reindeer, winter carriage rides, face painting and ornament making.
Stop by the Wayne Train Station to enjoy the Valley Forge Military Academy & College Choir as they sing carols. Hungry from all the fun? Sample hot chocolate and goodies at Wayne Senior Center, 108 Station Rd., from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Keep your eye out for Santa, though, he’ll be arriving for the tree lighting at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, head to the Santa Parade starting at 10 a.m. along Lancaster Avenue, ending at the Wayne Hotel. Meet with Santa on the Hotel’s veranda until 11:30 a.m. Mark your calendars for holiday fun!
More at WayneChristmas.com.
Celebrating in Kennett Square
Head south for Christmas in Kennett from November 26th to December 17th for never-ending holiday fun! Shop, dine and prance around town or stop by the Kennett Holiday Village Market at The Creamery, 401 Birch St., from 11 to 6 on December 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th.
Or you can catch a shuttle to A Longwood Christmas at … you know where, November 23rd through January 7, to experience indoor French-inspired displays dazzling with wreaths, mirrors, trees in holiday hues and sparkling crystal ornaments. Step outside in the gardens to a half-million lights and watch colorful fountains dance to holiday music. See Open Air Theatre Fountain Shows until 10 p.m. on December 31st.
And the fun continues. This New Year’s Eve, join the Mushroom Capital of the World for Midnight in the Square’s annual Mushroom Drop! There’s fun for the whole family—kids activities, guest DJs, live bands, laser show, food vendors in heated tents and more. Ranked #13 for “Weirdest things dropping on New Year’s Eve” by USA TODAY, the celebration starts at 6, followed by “Raising and Lighting” the 700-pound stainless steel mushroom between 7 and 8. Bring non-perishable food items to support Kennett Area Community Service to start the New Year right.
Celebrate Christmas in Phoenixville with the annual Christmas parade on December 1st. Starting at the 300 block of Bridge Street at 7 p.m., enjoy this hometown parade with friends and family, then head for the tree lighting at Renaissance Park.
On December 2nd, stop by Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church on Fairview Street for tickets to Phoenixville’s Candlelit Holiday Tour. From 3 to 7 p.m., tour beautiful homes, both historic and modern, as they showcase bedecked Christmas trees, twinkling lights and eye-catching decorations.
The following week, head back for Phoenixville’s 14th Annual Firebird Festival on December 9. The festivities begin at 3 p.m., complete with live music all day on Bridge and Main Streets. At 8:15 p.m., Friendship Field is the site for the annual burning of the Phoenix—in mythology, burning of the Phoenix symbolizes resurrection and renewal—just in time for the New Year!
December in Downingtown
Visit Downingtown to tour the 2nd Annual Holiday Home Decorating Contest. Enjoy festive decorations and blazing lights as houses around the borough compete for the grand prize. And the best part? You get to be the judge and vote for your favorite home! The competition runs from December 9th to the 22nd, with winners announced on the 23rd.
Weekend festivities continue with the annual Downingtown Good Neighbor Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 9th, at 3 p.m., on its route along Lancaster Avenue. Make sure to stay until the end to greet Santa and Mrs. Clause as they roll by on a big float, sure to put anyone in the Christmas spirit.
More at DtownChristmas.com.
Dance Through December
Two separate productions of this Christmas classic—The Nutcracker—are coming to Wilmington this month. On December 2nd and 3rd, the Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance will perform at the Playhouse on Rodney Square. This 51-year tradition includes a full orchestra and chorus, world-class principal dancers, young dancers and a one-horse open sleigh. Show times are Saturday, 2 & 7 p.m., and Sunday, 2 & 6 p.m. Admission: $15–$47. 1007 N. Market St.
Or join the First State Ballet, December 22nd and 23rd, on a magical journey in their production of The Nutcracker on the main stage at The Grand Opera House. Show times are 2 & 7 p.m. Admission: $15–$50. Copeland Hall, 818 N. Market St.
With so many chances to enjoy this holiday magic, there’s no excuse not to see at least one!
More at TheGrandWilmington.org.
What a year this has been! As December nears, let’s look forward to some festive time with friends and family and immerse ourselves in the joy and traditions of the holidays. Check our events column for all the fun things to do this month.
To make it even more enjoyable for you, we’ve compiled a list of shops, restaurants and services—everything you’ll need to complete your list, whether it’s holiday shopping or finding just the right piece you’ve been looking for to spruce up your home. Make a day of it and visit the truly unique and talented merchants County Lines country has to offer.
For our part, we wish you the happiest of holidays and, as always to our readers and advertisers, our most heartfelt thank you. Happy New Year!
Download the PDF version of this article here.
Loch Nairn Golf Club is a “Jewel In The Country.” Offering fine dining in The Farmhouse, a charming 17th-century farmhouse featuring excellent food and service. Serving lunch on Saturdays and dinner Thursday–Sunday, including Prix Fixe Menu each Thursday and Sunday (excluding holidays). You’ll find casual fare in the Greathouse, including hearty comfort foods and craft beers. They have a sports bar and fireplace. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 514 McCue Rd. 610-268-2235; LochNairn.com.
The perfect gift awaits at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. Shop the unique selection of gifts inspired by art and nature, including notecards and art reproductions featuring the iconic works of the Wyeth family, handcrafted jewelry, exclusive silk scarves and accessories, toys for children, a unique selection of books and more. Don’t miss the annual Critter Sale, December 2-4. Located on Rt. 1. 610-388-2700; Brandywine.org.
Moore’s Furniture has been helping families furnish their homes for over 54 years. They specialize in custom ordering furniture and they offer quick delivery of stock items for every room in your home. Their knowledgeable and friendly sales associates can help you find just what you’re looking for. They have two convenient locations: 90 Pottstown Pike, Chester Springs, 610-458-8001 and 3291 W. Ridge Pike, Pottstown, 610-495-5252; MooresFurniture.com.
Relax for an afternoon or a full day at Eden Day Spa and Salon. This award-winning suburban oasis is dedicated to pampering and beautifying experiences in an inviting environment. With warm stone massage, Keratin hair smoothing, expert Brazilian waxing, and world-class skin care, Eden assures that your time there will make you or that special someone feel balanced and beautiful. 378 W. Main St. 610-489-0800; EdenDaySpaAndSalon.com.
If the hearth is the heart of the home, Chester County Hearth and Home will warm your home’s heart with their quality products and services. With products from Regency, Marquis and Enviro, the shop features a variety of stoves, inserts and fireplace accessories as well as custom fireplace designs. They also provide CSIA and NFI certified chimney and gas fireplace services. Make your chimney safe for Santa! 19 Park Ave. 610-913-0730; ChesterChimney.com.
Deck the halls this holiday season with 18th-century through Victorian era original and reproduction furniture, lighting fixtures and furniture hardware. Visit Ball & Ball, 463 W. Lincoln Hwy. (Rt. 30), to find unique gift ideas including candlesticks, bookends, lanterns and fireplace accessories made on premises in brass, tin, copper, pewter and hand-forged iron and bronze. All perfect gifts this holiday season. Open Mon.–Fri., 8 to 4:30; Sat. hours, October–March, 9 to 1.
Gift cards to new trendy restaurants; best-selling novels, unique toys and games; elegant home décor … these are a few of our favorite things. Satisfy all your holiday needs this year as you shop amongst the twinkle lights and cool crisp air in beautiful Eagleview Town Center, 510 Wellington Square. EagleviewTownCenter.com for more information.
There’s no place like Ron’s Original Bar & Grille this holiday season! Come and indulge in some “Real Food, for the Health of it.” Offering a family atmosphere, Italian fare, live music and some of the best craft beer around, they invite you to stop in for a bite, enjoy some take-out or delivery, or call them to cater your next event! 74 E. Uwchlan Ave. 610-594-9900; RonsOriginal.com.
Using only the finest and freshest ingredients, highlighting the northern region of Italy, La Verona is committed to making your meal a memorable one, with professional service in a welcoming, vibrant, social atmosphere. They have a private dining area for parties up to 65, and they invite you to join them for Happy Hour, Mon.–Fri., 4 to 6. Come and join them in celebrating their 5th Anniversary. 114 E. State St. 610-444-2244; LaVeronaPA.com.
Drawing fans in Kennett since 2011 is Lily’s Asian Cuisine, Sushi & Grill, 104 W. State St. This stylish, modern Asian restaurant serves Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes insisting on high quality food, freshly prepared with finest ingredients. Meet friends for lunch, have dinner with family or come for a celebration. All-you-can-eat sushi on Tuesday, with hot starters. Enjoy the comfortable ambience, delicious food and excellent service in Lily’s. BYOB. 610-925-3700; LilySushiAndGrill.com.
The Museum Store of LancasterHistory.org offers an unequaled selection of gifts by local artisans including art, crafts, books and holiday items. You’ll find fraktur, scherenschnitte, pottery and distinctive decorations for the holidays as well as gifts for children and everyone else on your list. Two Lancaster locations: 4 W. King and 230 N. President Ave. on the Campus of History. Unusual. Distinctive. Different. They’re ready for the holidays! Are you? 717-392-4633; LancasterHistory.org.
Paradocx Vineyard, nestled among the rolling hills of southern Chester County, combines current technology and handcrafted secrets to create unique wines from homegrown grapes and from selected custom growers. They have over 100 acres and 30 of those are under vine. By providing only the finest, they are able to provide their head winemaker, Gabriel Rubilar, with the best possible start for a quality wine in the bottle. 1833 Flint Hill Rd. Also in the Market at Liberty Place in Kennett Square. 610-255-5684; Paradocx.com.
There’s something special at Nota Bene Boutique for you and other style-lovers on your Christmas list! They offer clothing, gifts and accessories for women of all ages. Treat your friends and family to something as beautiful as it is unique. Stop in at their downtown boutique and enjoy a fun day of shopping in a friendly and helpful atmosphere. 117 W. King St. 610-644-5016; NotaBeneBoutique.com.
Give yourself a treat this holiday season and stop in to Tonino’s Pizza & Pasta Co. to savor the freshest ingredients in their authentic, homemade Neapolitan pizza, pasta and signature Italian dishes. This family-run business invites you to come in and dine, BYOB, or call for delivery. Having a party? Their party trays make the planning easy—perfect for holidays and celebrations at home or at work. 235 Lancaster Ave. 610-240-9566; ToninosPizzaAndPasta.com.
This holiday season, why not introduce some creativity, art, innovation and fun to your gift-giving? Visit the Merchant of Menace Re-Imaginers Gallery and check the whimsical and inventive items that will delight everyone! Their artists see possibilities everywhere and create amazing works from a variety of reclaimed materials. Find furniture crafted from New England barn wood, animal sculptures made from antique tractor parts, jewelry created from silverware and much more! 1351 W. Strasburg Rd. 215-704-7419; TheMerchantOfMenace.net.
Gourmet gift baskets and luscious fine chocolates are two reasons to stop at Christopher Chocolates, making life sweeter for 30 years as a family-owned and operated business. They have a great selection of gourmet foods, candies, sugar-free items and fine chocolates for a customized gift basket to delight all on your list. They ship and deliver. Open daily from Thanksgiving to Christmas. 3519 West Chester Pk. (Rt. 3). 610-359-1669; Christopher-Chocolates.com.
Get your Christmas plants and flowers at Mostardi Nursery. Featuring distinctive plants for every season, Mostardi offers a selection that will have your home looking greener and even better than last Christmas. The Christmas Shop features trees, wreaths, poinsettias, garden accents, ornaments and accessories. Mostardi is dedicated to providing avid gardeners and homeowners with plants for every season and every reason. 4033 West Chester Pk. (Rt. 3); 610-356-8035; Mostardi.com.
This holiday season Walter J. Cook Jeweler marks 70 years on the Main Line with fine gifts designed to celebrate life’s special occasions. Browse the newest collections specializing in unique designs with alternative metals, diamonds in all colors and a multitude of gemstones. Visit them for fine jewelry, artisan gifts and collectibles. Located in the Chestnut Village Shoppes, 36 Chestnut Rd. 610-644-5347; WalterJCookJeweler.com.
Gie Gie Lingerie, 36 Chestnut Rd., supports all women, in every phase of life, to feel feminine and confident, able to experience a custom fitting in an environment where her feelings and consciousness are important. Besides their inventory, they are known for their compassionate and supportive style in helping women who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Their sales team provides great conversation, laughter and a refuge from the trials and tribulations of everyday life. 610-296-7626; GieGieLingerie.com.
Greg Pilotti Furniture Makers create authentic reproductions, custom furniture, beautiful antique American-inspired furniture, and many types of cabinetry. They will add crown molding to existing cabinets, do cabinet door upgrades and built-in cabinetry units. They work closely with each client to bring their ideas to life, create exacting replicas, or modify a piece to meet a modern need. 484-764-6956; GPFurnitureMakers.com.
Moore’s Furniture 3291 W. Ridge Pk. 610-495-5252; MooresFurniture.com. See their listing under Chester Springs.
Owner Cathy Calhoun of Calhoun Jewelers and her staff are ready to make your best moments even more memorable. The team works to provide a pleasant experience from your first step into the store to the moment you slip on your new jewelry and beyond with their private collection, custom designs, signature collection, estate jewelry and jewelry repairs. 500 Main St. 610-948-8515; CalhounJewelers.com.
Make it a handcrafted holiday. Community Arts Center and the Potters Guild present their Holiday Sale featuring functional and decorative ceramic, mixed media, fiber art, jewelry, papier-maché, flowers, wood, soaps, baskets, metal and holiday décor from over 60 artists, Dec. 2–10. Special shopping events include a preview party and concert with Cartoon Christmas Trio. 414 Plush Mill Rd. CACHolidaySale.org.
In a free-standing Road House at the crossroads of Rts. 202 and 252, Black Powder Tavern is a friendly, casual restaurant serving traditional and modern versions of American comfort foods, including seasonal small plate offerings, plates to share, and homemade desserts. Black Powder Tavern’s broad offerings of beverages includes an extensive list of craft beers on draft and in bottles, quality libations, and extensive wine list. Gift cards—perfect for the holidays! BlackPowderTavern.com.
To add sparkle to the holidays, visit the ultimate jewelry store—Big Diamond Importers & Fine Jewelry, 15 W. Gay St., specializing in Ideal Cut Diamonds, engagement rings and wedding bands at wholesale prices. See their big and unique engagement rings and fashion jewelry collection for 2016. They are also a full-service jeweler, including in-house repair, custom design and appraisals. Receive 30% off on all in-store jewelry for mentioning this article. 610-692-7707; BigsDiamonds.com.
Since 1933, the Jane Chalfant shop has provided casual fashions in a friendly atmosphere. Today, Jane Chalfant / Kiki Boutique features sweaters, pants and jackets for your everyday life style. Everyone is pleasantly surprised by the size of the shop, which enables them to carry a great selection including fun, fashion accessories. It’s worth the trip! Free parking behind the shop at 123 N. High St. 610-696-0290; JaneChalfant.com.
Emily Alice boutique salon and day spa, at 29 S. High St., is beauty redefined, taking a holistic approach and providing organic enzyme peels, one-on-one makeup lessons, custom hair painting, Pilates, and more. In addition to individual services, they are a destination for private groups, bridal parties and girls’ night out events. Come in for a tour, browse their product selection and learn more about what may make you look and feel better. 610-696-3990; EmilyAlice.com.
Touch … Sight … Taste … Smell … Sound … The 5 Senses. You can find something for everyone on your shopping list for any occasion (and a little something for you as well) at this shop. They offer North American and Fair Trade, handmade, functional works of art, from pottery to candles to jewelry and gift art. They also have a large selection of all-occasion cards. 133 W. Market St. 610-719-0170; The5Senses.com.
Experience a fiesta you won’t forget at Más Mexicali Cantina. Fresh, organic ingredients in their sizzling fajitas, tantalizing tacos and brag-worthy burritos—more than your typical meal. Looking for a fun, unique place to host your next event? The second floor Tequila Bar/Velvet Lounge and West Chester’s only rooftop dining destination can host as few as 10 and as many as 500! Three floors—one great place! 102 E. Market St. 610-918-6280; MasMexiCali.com.
Visit Matlack Florist for all your holiday needs. Centerpieces and fresh flower arrangements make a great holiday gift. The Greenhouse is bursting with Poinsettias, Noble Trees and Holiday Garden Baskets. Fruit and Gourmet Baskets with local items are sure to please. Stop by the gift shop for a wonderful selection of home décor items, accessories and holiday giftware. Same-day local delivery is always available. 210 N. Chester Rd. 610-431-3077; MatlackFlorist.com.
Holidays are notoriously busy. How about giving the gift of time? Merry Maids allows you to focus your energy elsewhere, giving you time just to breathe and relax. Whether a gift for yourself or someone else, they will customize any cleaning for your specific needs. Do you need help on a regular basis or for a party? Call Merry Maids West Chester, 610-436-6243 to arrange services or Gift Certificates.
Deck the halls this holiday season with unique home décor and gifts from Old Soul Décor, 119 W. Market St. Showcasing eclectic design, vintage home décor, and affordable giftables, this is a one-stop-shop for your holiday needs. Seasonal items include Thymes Frasier Fir candles, hand soaps and lotions, limited edition handblown glass ornaments, grain sack and burlap stockings, Creative Women handmade table runners, jewelry and more! 484-983-7311; OldSoulDecor.com.
Custom shutters add beauty and elegance to every home. Shutter Tech, Inc. has been specializing in custom interior shutters for over 40 years, built locally in their West Chester factory at direct factory prices. Give them a call or visit their showroom, Mon.–Thurs., 8:30 to 4, to see the many looks you can give your home with shutters. Park Valley Corporate Center, 1155 Phoenixville Pk., Suite 105. 800-272-9934; ShutterTech.com.
At tish boutique, 138 E. Gay St., you’ll find an ideal mix of contemporary women’s apparel and accessories. Touting designers such as Vince, Rebecca Taylor, BCBG Max Azria, Sanctuary, Suncoo Paris, Bella Dahl, Ecru, Cupcakes & Cashmere and many more. Find the perfect gift for her this holiday season. Open 7 days a week, and late on Wednesday nights. Gift cards available. 610-692-7500; TishStyle.com.
WCU Ram Shop, West Chester University’s official off-campus gift store, at 134 N. High St., is decked out for the holidays with a wide selection of Golden Ram hoodies, crew necks, tee shirts and baby clothing, along with logo chairs, genuine leather tote bags and alumni license plates. Blankets, winter hats and scarves will keep you warm this winter. Stop and shop for your students, parents, alumni or all the ram fans on your list. 484-887-8111; WCURamShop.com.
For the artsy friends and family members on your shopping list, the Delaware Art Museum is sure to offer something unique just for them. Browse a selection of treasures, including handcrafted jewelry, vases, ceramics, textiles and books in the Museum Store or during the Winter Arts Festival, December 10 and 11. Visit their website to find out more about festive holiday offerings, events and special exhibitions for all ages. 2301 Kentmere Pkwy. 302-571-9590; DelArt.org.
For those interested in live theater, Delaware Theatre Company is the place to be. Located on Wilmington’s beautiful Riverfront, it’s the only theater in Delaware that develops new works for Broadway. In the last three years, celebrities such as Michael Learned, Peter Strauss, Duncan Sheik, Donna Pescow and Sheryl Crow have worked on their stage. This December, see the timeless classic, A Christmas Carol. 200 Water St. 302-594-1100; DelawareTheatre.org.
When you’re liquidating an estate or just downsizing, remember that Whitten’s Fine Jewelry is always looking for fine vintage jewelry and watches. They also purchase diamonds that need a new home. Whitten’s Fine Jewelry has access to over 250 dealers around the world who specialize in different facets of the jewelry industry making them able to evaluate and determine value. Stop by for a free appraisal and offer to purchase. Midway Shopping Center, 4719 Kirkwood Hwy. 302-995-7464; WhittensFineJewelry.com.
The most wonderful time of the year!
Voices soar and laughter fills the air as People’s Light gears up for the 12th annual holiday Panto.
Since 2004, these annual send-ups of familiar stories and fairytales—filled with original music, dancing and vaudeville-style comedy—have become a celebrated event for audiences ages 5 to 105. This year’s Panto artists are putting their unique and hilarious spin on the swashbuckling adventures of The Three Musketeers: The Later Years.
Playwright Kathryn Petersen took her cue from the second of Alexandre Dumas’ famous historical novels, the d’Artagnan romance trilogy: The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later. Petersen says that although the novels “did not give [her] a clear and memorable plot,” they offer “rich characters, swashbuckling adventures, a group of friends who have each others’ backs,” and, of course, the famous call: “All for one and one for all!”
Armed with these essential ingredients, Petersen explored the historical backdrop of Dumas’ novels—the reigns of Louis the XIII and XIV. The novels provided her with great plot inspiration—“a young king being shaped by his mother, a powerful Cardinal (Richelieu and later Mazarin), a coup d’etat, the existence of a Grand Falconer, and a host of other details woven through.”
Transported by the Panto form, we’re in the 17th-century-inspired kingdom of Malvaria, where Dame Queen Agnes has just returned from abroad to find that her son, the child King Houghton “Hughy” Charles, son of the House of Bourbon with a Twist, is being manipulated by his malicious advisor and Grand Falconer, Lord Guido Mazarotti, who has a cast of fierce falcons to carry out his dastardly doings.
As in the Dumas novel, the famed Three Musketeers are initially MIA and others must heed the call. “The question emerged,” Petersen explains, “if our heroes are absent, feeble or even dead, who will take their place? The Panto form allowed me to answer with ‘why, a girl, a dog and a chicken of course!’”
This kind of outrageous narrative adaptation is a perfect example of People’s Light’s Panto traditions that audiences have come to relish, including:
• The Dame: a boisterous yet benevolent matriarch played by a man
• A hero, a heroine and a stock villain
• A basic story of good vs. evil
• A “candy bit”: the actors throw candy into the audience
• A “messy bit”: a mucky slapstick routine
• Music, dance and slapstick
But the most important element that brings the Panto to life is audience participation. Audiences are encouraged to boo the villains, cheer and guide the heroes, sing along, and even take part in some of the action on stage.
Audiences are invited—if not required—to help shape the joys, concerns and highs and lows of the characters’ journeys. Much like the puppets that nationally renowned puppet designer and performer Robert Smythe will be designing, the real magic of the Panto relies on the synergy of the audience infusing their imaginative life force onto what’s on stage.
Pete Pryor, Panto director since 2008 who will direct and perform this year, offers that “The Panto is a beloved multi-generational event—something that families look forward to doing together every year. We want to bring them our best work, so we push ourselves to keep innovating within the Panto form.”
And so we invite your many generations to participate in the best of what we have to offer and to be a part of what makes Pantos a truly memorable experience.
If You Go:
Where: People’s Light, 39 Conestoga Rd., Malvern
When: Through January 10
Box Office: 610-644-3500; PeoplesLight.org
Next: Sense and Sensibility, Feb. 10 – Mar. 20; Richard III, Mar. 16 – Apr. 24; A Single Shard, Apr. 27 - May 29; and more.
The holiday table … it’s the gathering place to sit back and relax with special people and enjoy a beautiful meal laid out on a gorgeous tablescape that creates a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Now is the time to think about how to add holiday style to your table or buffet, before your home starts to fill with family and friends.
You’ll find inspiration from many sources: area shops, museums and even private homes on one of the house tours this month. Here are a few.
Delaware Art Museum Holiday House Tour
The Little House Shop
Candlelight Holiday Home Tour in Kennett Square