Around this time of year in Ann Arbor, I used Christmas shopping to procrastinate studying for finals. I would bundle up in my big puffy coat and trudge down to Main Street, where the trees were always lit up and the stores were decorated for the season. It got me into the spirit of the season more than sitting on the couch writing papers did, though the lights up around our living room on Hamilton Place were always bright and helpful.
|I'd walk in the front door and have this waiting for me. |
My roommates were (and still are) the best.
My first stop in the shopping adventure was usually Peaceable Kingdom, a small store near Washington Street and Café Felix. I went into the store for the first time because of its fairy door; it also has a little fairy-sized shop built inside. It’s a great place to find stocking stuffers and other small gifts, and has a really nice jewelry section. I gave my mom earrings from there at least once. I usually trekked to the M Den – my family has gotten a lot of Michigan gear in the past few years – and Annabelle for nice jewelry. Mostly I just liked walking around Main Street, where the shops and restaurants all feel welcoming. It was far enough off campus that I could leave my academic stresses behind and focus on the holidays.
|This picture is from the spring, but I bet the fairies |
at Peaceable Kingdom decorate for the holidays!
I never quite made my way to Kerrytown in my shopping, though there are great stores to poke in up there as well. Last year as I searched for gifts, I found my sister an ugly Christmas sweater for a party she was going to in Philadelphia. Not only did it have a fuzzy collar, but it had several sequined reindeer across the front. To my surprise, my boyfriend Eric found a sweater for the season, too...
|I'm still convinced this is a woman's sweater.|
He was disappointed that he couldn't find one that lit up.
While my shopping in Ann Arbor was never too extensive - there are only so many presents you can fit into a carry-on bag - it made me appreciate both the season and all that the town has to offer. There are the decorations in Nickels Arcade, the numerous local stores in which to find gifts, the restaurants for grabbing a post-finals snack with friends, and all the buildings that look extra pretty when covered with snow. It was always as I was wandering down the streets looking into store windows that I would know how much I loved being there, both being in school and living in Ann Arbor. In the midst of exams and final papers, it was a reminder that made the season that much brighter.
Do you do your holiday shopping around Ann Arbor?
Where are your favorite places to go for gifts?
How do you celebrate the season in Ann Arbor or elsewhere?