To get the vibe going, we made a winter playlist for you to listen to while you make your way through this month’s post ❄ Maybe you can even imagine we’re hanging out and I’m reading the blog to you and we are also having a slumber party?
Feel free 2 take a listen:
Before I worked at Riley Grae, I attended one of their after-hours holiday events. The store looked the same as it does this holiday season. Now that I’m not just a regular customer, I got to contribute to the decorating process this year. Our displays are adorned with glittery cotton snow, our shelves and nooks are fully stocked with sweet treasures (as usual), and in the centre of our first floor are three snow-kissed spruce trees that are dressed in the kitschiest of ornaments.
On December 6 from 6-8, Riley Grae will be hosting our annual Holiday Shop Night! We will have complimentary drinks and snacks, cookies for sale from Sweet Treats by Emily for you all to enjoy, and our good friend - Balsam Fir - playing tunes on the piano. Please consider this small blog post as your formal invitation.
Some verbatim quotes about the Shop Night from the Big Bosses at Riley Grae Store:
“We like to recognize our lovely, loyal customer base. So, that night is a great time for me to mingle and talk more one-on-one with all those folks,” says Trish, co-owner of Riley Grae.
“I like to make a magical night for my customers - to feel the holiday cheer and warmth!” adds Lauren, co-owner #2.
If you attended last year’s Shop Night, you might’ve seen a little bow-tied helper walking around the store with a silver tray of sweet treats. Snacking on free cookies was my favourite part of the night because not only is luv, community, and magic a big theme during this time of year, but so is snacking. Chocolates, gummies, cookies, cakes - a good ol’ treat. It’s even better when you get to share treats with the ones you love.
In spirit of our love for treats, we thought we’d share some of our favourite vintage recipes with you.
From our cookbooks to your tummies <3
From Betty Crocker's “Cooky Book”, published in 1963.
From Woman’s Day “BOOK OF SALADS”, published in 1963.
To make these recipes easy for you to remember, we suggest you use our Shopping List Notepad from Happy Day Design Co. to write down the ingredients you need from the store! You’ll need a writing utensil too, or else how would you write it down? We recommend you use a Stardust Gelly Roll Pen by Sakura because they’re practical and fun.
Once you get it all down, you’re good to start gathering ingredients for your tomato jelly salad. Mmm.
If you need a quick treat, we sell chocolate bars from Alicja Confections - for instant, chocolatey gratification. The glazed cherry chocolate bar sticks out to Lauren and Trish, but I have my eyes on the espresso one. We love that they’re made in Canada, vegan and gluten friendly, and 54.4% dark chocolate. But if you’re not into chocolate, we also have Sugarfina gummies for a teeth-tingling sugar rush.
Lauren’s print, dedicated to Santa. $21
Is Santa real? Lauren poses a good question in the print above - which features a diary entry she made at the age of 10.
“I want to believe - but I can’t. I want the truth.” - Lauren, age 10.
Is Santa real? I personally don’t think he is because there are too many things I’ve asked for that I’ve never gotten. This question has plagued most of our staff for years. When I asked about their stance on the matter, these are the answers I received:
“Do you believe in Santa?”
Carly (she/they): I say maybe! I don’t know if Santa comes to my house anymore now that I'm older, but I do believe in magic!
Annie (she/her): Maybe, but he's just a ghost. You know how people talk about the spirit of Christmas? Maybe that's what he is.
Lauren (they/she): I don't believe in Santa as a jolly man but I believe in holiday warmth and joy, and if that's Santa, then sure. I actually believe that there are just special people in everyone's lives that make the holiday times really safe and magical. If anyone doesn't have that, then they're invited to come to my house - where I have plenty of holiday cheer to share.
Trish (she/her): I was always told as a young person, "If you don't believe, you don't receive," so I still have that in the back of my head. I think I'd call Santa more of a spirit for the holidays and less of an actual person, but elves absolutely exist. I just really love the movie Elf - I want to believe so bad.
Ryan (they/them): Absolutely not.
If you partake in gift-giving during the holiday season, you may be a fan of list-making (like everyone at Riley Grae). I make lists of what I want, what I think other people want, and expensive things I would love to receive but know no one will get me. If you’ve never made a wishlist, I highly recommend you try it. You don’t have to wait until this time of year to make one, either. You deserve nice things all year. That’s why we are here - to be your year-round, one-stop gift shop.
If you’re new to wishlist-making, let me tell you how I'd make one if I was locked inside Riley Grae for 24 hours and had to write the perfect wishlist in order to escape. The first thing I’d grab would be Midori’s MD A5 Lined Notebook. It’s sleek, simple, well-made, and customizable. Midori notebooks have great ink absorbency, so they pair well with fountain pens and markers. This is great for me because I love the idea of writing with an ink pot and feather. The closest I can get to that fantasy, though, is by writing with a Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain Pen. Kaweco says their designs “stem from another era when tradition and craftsmanship were still synonymous and some clocks seemed to go a little slower,” so it makes perfect sense why changing my ink cartridge gives me that old-timey feel I love so much.
Once the actual list is done, there are a few stickers I’d add to give it a personal touch. I’d use some from miniSUPER Sticker Club’s Beautiful Things Sticker Sheet, as well as a Radioactive Jell-o Sticker by Alex Luciano (there’s a Jell-O theme going on here).
I don’t know who would have to judge my list to grant my release - maybe Trish and Lauren? I guess I don’t have to worry about it because it’s never going to happen.
If magic is real, then I think the first wish on my list would be for the Shop Night to be the best night in all of Shop Night history. An unforgettable evening - a night so 𝓌𝑜𝓃𝒹𝓇𝑜𝓊𝓈 it is reminiscent of entering a dream in Animal Crossing.
I won’t tell you all my wishes because they’re special to me, but I will spill a little bit and say that one of my wishes is for all of us to keep each other close this season - to love in the best ways we know how and to take care of the people in our communities. Near us and across the world. I'm getting a bit deep and personal because we are still having a slumber party, remember? It's that time of the night where we are both getting a bit sleepy but we feel more comfortable with each other now.
I'll end our time together on this note:
We hope all your wishes come true and we hope to see you having the best time at our Shop Night.
Happy holidays from us at Riley Grae and to all a good ~Shop~ Night!
See you next month,
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Products featured in the cover photo, in case you’re interested:Ronnie Rockhopper Penguin from Jellycat
Retro Telephone Ornament in Yellow from Cody Foster & Co.
Vintage Diorama Ornament in Blue from Cody Foster & Co.