Friday, November 7, 2008

Whitney Reflects on HiHo Christmas

This past September I went away to college. Excited and anxious was I, and the family was happy to let me start this new chapter of my life. I was leaving many things behind when moving to Lawrenceville, New Jersey to attend Rider University. I was leaving behind my mother’s store, HiHo. Yes, I would be back, but I didn’t realize how much I would miss it until it wasn’t there all of the time.

With the holiday season sneaking up on us (yesterday I realized there were only 48 days until Christmas) I am regretful that I will not be able to share in the Christmas hype at HiHo too much. I will be home for a short break for Thanksgiving and then not back again until December 15th. Through the years my mother has shaped and encouraged my intense love (sometimes obsession) of Christmastime. Ask anyone who knows me well, and they will tell you that I’m the “Christmas Queen.” Since opening the store, HiHo is an essential part of Christmastime for me, and I’m sure for many local community members.

My first Christmastime memory at HiHo is from way back when we were located on North Front Street in New Paltz. Because of the sidewalks and the encouraged walk-around atmosphere (one day Gardiner will have sidewalks too!) my mom thought it was very necessary to have a speaker to play music into the street, especially at Christmastime. I can remember going to get my favorite drink from Starbucks and crossing in front of P&Gs to make my way back to the store. Hearing various Christmas music such as Charlie Brown’s Christmas or the classic Bing Crosby made it really Christmastime.

Now at the store in Gardiner, Christmas prep really gets me into the holiday spirit. Yes, I am regretfully missing out on most of it this year, and I am a little concerned about the front tree (it’s my job to string the lights exactly the way I want them because I do it best) but I have faith that the store will be more beautiful than ever. So mark your calendars and do me a favor, make a trip to HiHo the weekend of the fourteenth. The open house starts on Friday at noon. Enjoy some Christmas for me.