RP Holiday Playlist

Thanksgiving has officially passed, which officially makes it Holiday Music Season! I’ve done remarkably well this year, letting only a few of my holiday favorites play as early as November (ok… October), but now that turkey day is done, I’m playing my holiday tunes with gusto! I made a few CDs to play at The Rare Pair (we’ve got to get new songs in rotation every year, otherwise we’ll probably go a little crazy), so listen for these classics when you’re down at the store! Do you have any favorite holiday songs? Is there anything you’d love to hear playing at The Rare Pair?

1. James Taylor – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

2. Kelly Clarkson – O Holy Night

3. Olivia Olson – All I Want for Christmas is You

4. Louis Armstrong – Cool Yule

5. Michael Buble – Let it Snow

RP Holiday Playlist

Behind the Scenes: The 2011 Holiday Window Display

Nothing says “holiday season” like a festive window display! Every year, owner Krin Finger comes up with a concept (the “grand idea”, if you will) and her team of Window Design Specialists (I just made that title up – they’re that awesome!) helps bring it to life. To give you an idea of what went into this year’s holiday window display, I’m bringing you behind the scenes! The theme for 2011: Warm Wishes!

Where did the idea for this year’s windows come from?

Krin: It actually came when we were working on last year’s windows. The idea is to always try and out-do last year. And we want each year to be really different. So I knew that I wanted plaid to be the theme, in contrast with last year’s white and red, candy cane feel. It’s much more natural. Plaid came first, then “Warm Wishes” as a tagline, then the idea of birch trees. Then, Debbie, Juley and I met this summer and went to the Junk Bonanza and found plaid thermoses. They went well with Warm Wishes, and made us think of outdoorsy things.

Another important element is longevity. We try to get as much use out of the holiday window display as possible, since so much work goes into it. So when January rolls around, we might take out the holiday props and do something with sleds. We even try and keep the windows relevant until Valentine’s Day. Also, we try and re-use props at least twice. The window display we had up before this was from 5 years ago. We’re lucky that we have the storage space to recycle props.

If time or money were no object, what would your dream window display be?

Krin: A dream display this year would have been a solid wall of birch poles, but it would have been way too expensive. So we’re doing clusters, with space between each pole. Otherwise, I’d love to have vintage dress forms – cast-iron on wheels – to display outfits. That’s a real dream. Or new carpet in the windows.
So how does it all come together, start to finish? This year’s windows started with a whole lot of wood. Over the past couple of months, we collected seventy-five 84-inch birch poles, about 200 logs and a dozen stumps from friends, neighbors, the Northfield landfill and the Oaklawn Cemetary (all with permission, of course!) to create a birch-filled wonderland. You can imagine how that much wood might create a little bit of chaos around the store:

But hey – it’s got to sit somewhere before it’s arranged, right? Dale Finger, Krin’s ever-helpful husband, pulled up right in front of the store and we all pitched in to get it unloaded. Window displays take teamwork!

Once the wood arrived, the fun began! Juley and Debbie got to work stapling strings of lights (12 strands, to be exact!) to thick birch poles to create a back-lit effect. Here’s a look at the progress we made on the front window over the course of the day on Sunday:

When I left at 9 p.m., the Dream Team (Juley, Krin, Debbie and Jill) was still hard at work. You’ll have to drive by the store today to see the finished product – I know I will!

A HUGE thanks to the Geigers, the Jenkinsons, and of course, Dale (he finally gets his garage back!).
Behind the Scenes: The 2011 Holiday Window Display

Holiday Gift Guide – For Him

Sometimes, it’s the men that can be the hardest to shop for. Too many years in a row, I’ve given my Dad socks for Christmas. Even if they’re really great socks, I’ll bet we (ie. me) can be a little more creative. So if you’re in the same boat as me, and need a little manly inspiration for your holiday shopping, check out The Rare Pair’s Holiday Gift Guide – For Him!

Something Warm… Smartwool sweater $100

Something Practical… Latico leather carriers $38 and $178

Something Soft… LIG tee $32, Smartwool socks $21

Something Classic… Woolrich flannels $49 and $59

Something Cozy… Sorel slippers $65, Ugg slippers $90, Minnetonka slippers $67

Holiday Gift Guide – For Him

Holiday Gift Guide – For Her

By now – it is mid-November, after all – you’ve probably got your gift-buying list (and a list of your own!) to work on. To make your task just a little bit easier, I’ve compiled some of my festive favorites – perfect for all the women in your life! It’s The Rare Pair’s Holiday Gift Guide – For Her!

Something Warm… M.Rena poncho (3 colors) $56, Smartwool socks $21

Something Classic… Hobo wallets $88 and $98, Frye wallet $138

Something Shiny… Hunter rain boots (tall gloss) $125

Something Sparkly… Bracelet clusters $15, Baked Beads necklaces $17 and $19, Tomas earrings $25

Something Cozy… UGG slippers $70-$110, PJ Salvage Pajama Set $55

P.S. Be sure to check back on Wednesday for our Holiday Gift Guide For Him!

Holiday Gift Guide – For Her

You’re Invited: The Shopping Opener

Join us at The Rare Pair Saturday, November 12th, 10-5 for the 1st annual Shopping Opener!

You’ll receive a special coupon when you walk in the door and you’ll have the chance to win a gift certificate and other great prizes. Plus, be a (bargain) hunter at our 50% off table!

18 downtown businesses participating.


You’re Invited: The Shopping Opener