Are you a candle person? Do you search for just the right scent to please your senses or set a mood in your home? Do you mix and match or change them up depending on the season or holiday?
Ok, I admit. That's not me. Don't get me wrong. I DO like to use scented oils and warmers to enfuse a calming, feel-good warmth throughout my home. But when I think Yankee Candle, I think wax and wicks and flames and decorative holders to retain it all. It wasn't a store I normally would find myself in, unless I was looking to buy a gift for someone else,
All that changed recently, last Halloween, when my sisters invited me to accompany them to a local Yankee Candle store. While they oohed and ahhed over the latest in the "Boney Bunch" line of items, I perused the shelves and aisles and found much more than candles. I left the store with a bag full of goodies for myself and gifts for my daughter-in-law.
That got me thinking. I had heard about a very large Yankee Candle store. A Village Shop actually. In Deerfield, MA. Not too far from me. Maybe it was time for a visit. To find out what all the talk I'd heard for years about the place was all about.
Two months later, right before Christmas, I called my sisters with my idea. Let's plan a sister outing with our mother to the Village Shop. All agreed, a short time later, we set off on the two hour ride on a cold December weekday. We chatted and laughed like families do which made the hours seem like mere minutes.
We entered the Shop through the "Country Kitchen" entrance and was greeted by a friendly employee who welcomed us into the world of Yankee Candle. The room was filled with the usual items found in a normal Yankee Candle store. But as we moved deeper into the room we found so much more: food, household goods, etc. We continued to move along and entered a low-lit room filled with beautiful displays of Christmas ornaments and figures. This was the "Black Forest" room. We found different types of displays, from Christmas to Halloween. A model train ran along overhead tracks. All of the items in the displays were readily available for sale. Out came our cameras to record it all and also to give us ideas for decorating our own homes.
We put some items in a shopping cart and pushed it into the next room, the "Bavarian Village", where we found even more beautiful displays. Would you believe every few minutes it actually "snows" in this room? Amazing! We passed through a doorway and into what appeared to be the center of the Shop. Here we found more themed Christmas tree displays with ornaments for sale. And a stage with life-sized animated figures singing carols to a few patrons who lazed on chairs watching the show. There's also Mrs. Claus' cafe and bakery, and a fudge shop. After a quick glance around, we made our way to the sale room and added more items to our cart. By this time, we were a bit hungry and thirsty so we returned to Mrs. Claus' cafe and found a table. Let me tell you, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the lunch items we bought were very delicious, especially the turkey barley soup.
At the Cafe, we found a map of the entire Village Shop which was such a big help for us. The Shop is quite a maze of themed rooms and even more little closet-sized alcoves off of them. It was a bit overwhelming without direction. Armed with the map, we felt more comfortable about attacking every inch of the place before we left to go home. A plan was made. After lunch, we felt refreshed and pushed off on the next leg of our adventure.
We purchased fudge for our dad and then headed into the "Yankee Candle Home" room. We found food stuffs, kitchen utensils, bath and garden items. It also offered beautiful personal items, like purses, jewelry and clothing. It was at that point when I wished I had much more money to spend. Darn you unemployment!
Yankee Candle offered. There was even candlemaking for kids and adults. Unfortunately, by this time, my mother was feeling a bit weak. The walking had become a bit too much for her. One of my sisters found a wheelchair. (Another plus and high five to the Shop!) Mom settled into the chair and we commenced shopping!
Checking our map, we realized we hadn't made our way yet to the "Nutcracker Castle" and "Toy Shop" rooms. We swiftly backtracked and came upon a courtyard and waterfall at the entrance to the Castle. Very cool! Inside the castle, my mom and I hopped into big throne chairs and pretended to be Village Shop royalty!
Through a doorway we finally entered the enchanting Toy Shop. I really got to missing my grandchildren in this room. The items available for purchase were awesome. Lots of wooden toys. Overhead we watched gifts on a conveyor pulley system being added to Santa's big sack. There was even a large clock ticking down the minutes to Christmas. Underneath the clock was a desk with paper and pencils. We wheeled our mother up to the desk so she could write a letter to Santa. She then deposited it into the nearby Santa's mailbox. Fun fun!
Shop to the general store where we found the check-out area. But uh-oh! There we found another area to explore that was full of some interesting items, like local sports team memorabilia. This place sure had something for everybody. I even picked up a little gift for hubby.
We jumped in line to purchase our items before we were tempted to grab anything more. The lines moved quickly and before long we found ourselves making our way to the exit. We stowed our new goodies into the back of the car and made ourselves comfy for the long ride home. Our ride was filled with chatter about the amazing things we found, the fun time we had and the totally unexpected grandness of the Village Shop.
Who knew a candle store could be filled with so much? And there was still more that we didn't see and do: visit with Santa and sit on his lap, visit the candle museum, and the candy store. We also had thought about visiting a nearby butterfly farm. Alas, no time today.
But hey, who says we can't go again? Maybe go back in the summertime when the Village Shop has longer hours. After all, no need to wait until December. It's Christmas year-round here. My sisters and I are always up for another roadtrip. Especially to a fun destination like the Yankee Candle Village Shop.
Ok. I'm a candle convert now.