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Holiday Wanderlust


(left to right) Snowflake making at the Purple Purl, the Wanderlust Passport, Jini and Heidi (with licorice) from Baby on the Hip

What do you get when you combine the spirit of Nuit Blanche with hot chocolate and holiday shopping? I didn't know the answer either, but last night I learned it's something like the Leslieville Holiday Wanderlust.

I went simply because I wanted to continue my holiday posting spree (see stocking and lights) while sampling a part of town I rarely go to (basically the entire East-end other than the beaches). Little did I know I would split a gut watching kids singing "Krazy Kristmas Karol Karaoke" at Ethel (photo after the break), sample a large selection of free hot chocolate and sweets (the best by far was the organic hot chocolate at Baby on the Hip) and spend over an hour making a snowflake at Purple Purl (photo top left). It was so fun. And all of it was free.

Nineteen shops and galleries of Leslieveville Village (isn't that redundant?) participated in a holiday themed "evening of light, warmth and adventure." They cynic in me (which is pretty much 80% of me) thought the night was just a clever way to get some extra shoppers in the doors. Most had sales going on or special promotions for the night and judging by the number of people, I'm sure it was a good night for sales. More important though were the warm exchanges, the introductions and the community. It's amazing what handing out warm drinks to kids and parents can do to build a relationship.

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(left to right) Krazy Kristmas Karol Karaoke, Greg (with Lucy) and Amy (with Freddy) at Ethel

For the ambitious of the night there was the "passport" (pictured above middle). Those who collected a minimum of 14 stamps (one per store) would be entered into a draw to win one of three grand prizes, each valued at over $600!

Bravo to the stores that did more than just reduce their prices and hand out free goodies. It's a shame the event is only one night.

Photos by Joseph.


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