Lacey Paraphernalia

The first Christmas that I remember was when I was in Kindergarten in snowy Massachusetts. There were six of us born in four years (yes, two sets of twins) to parents in their young twenties. We rented a big old house, and I never knew at the time that we did not have money. I only have happy memories of that era of my life. My grandmother sewed all of our Halloween costumes, my mother baked and decorated all of our birthday cakes, my dad worked long hours but always played outside with us on his downtime. Somehow my parents made life happy for us on a shoestring budget, including Christmas. I look back now and am amazed that the things we wanted most on our list always. I often find it difficult to feel that I am giving enough to my children, even though they have so much more materially.

Having a “magical” Christmas for m, encompasses several elements, from spirituality, to giving, to spending family time together, to baking, to sending out Christmas cards, and even decorating. On Christmas Eve I wanted to create a tradition for my children of one special gift from me, something not on their list for Santa. For my only daughter there was only one place to get such a gift, Lacy’s Paraphernalia, the boutique for the princess in every girl.

I first patronized Lacy's Paraphernalia last spring, a few months after they opened their doors. I was immediately impressed with the stunning eye-catching window display the owner Dare and her husband created. When business owners create such a beautiful renovation, it pushes the city up one more notch in uniqueness and small-town attraction. And, the difference between a small town with a variety of unique small shops compared to a small town with an abundance of empty storefronts affects every single citizen in the city. That is why I find it imperative to at least stop into every locally-owned business, even if it is just to let them know I appreciate them being here.

On my first visit to Lacy’s I was impressed with the two rooms transformed into the Victorian era. What better city for a Victorian reproduction boutique, than Lakewood with its rich history of historical houses. The boutique was filled with Victorian dolls, jewelry, home décor, Victorian Doll lamps, Angels, candles, etc. But what stood out the most was the warm welcome from Dare, a Lakewood resident, and her husband, who helped his wife realize her passion and dream. Dare’s eyes beamed with the realization of that dream surrounding her. At that time I bought Kaleidoscopes and other small items for my children’s Easter Baskets. But I made a note to come back for one of the Victorian dolls for my daughter.

So after I knew Santa’s list was taken care of, I headed to Lacy’s for what I hoped was the special gift I needed for my daughter. As usual, Dare welcomed me with warmth you cannot buy in a corporate chain. I felt almost like family and enjoyed the pastries and coffee she offered to weary Christmas shoppers. My eyes immediately went to a collection of Bears, called “Chantilly Lane”, Victorian style, well-made unique bears. Each female bear came dressed with satin or silk hats, matching scarves, and their own song. They ranged from Red Hat Society to Breast Cancer Awareness to simple well-dressed bears. As soon as I picked up the mommy bear holding her baby with matching pink satin hats and singing the tune of “Be My Little Baby”, I knew I had the right gift. My daughter’s favorite play game is playing mommy.

What I could not predict is that it truly was my daughter’s favorite gif. She actually had tears in her eyes when she held the bear and continually played the song while rocking in the rocking chair. I have never seen her with tears in her eyes over a gift, so I knew this would be the gift, long after the other plastic toys were gone to Goodwill or the garbage, that she would keep through childhood, college, and hopefully until she is a mother. It may seem like a small gesture, but somehow it brought me back to the sentiments of my early childhood, and to my loving mother and father, who I now know made childhood magical because of the time and heart they gave us every day. I wonder now if that is why I ended up in Lakewood, Ohio, in a big old house. Maybe I want to capture that spirit in a different day and time. If you want to capture some of the Victorian spirit, please visit Lacy’s Paraphernalia.

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Volume 3, Issue 2, Posted 2:02 PM, 01.21.07