Christmas comes but once a year and this disturbs me greatly. The holiday season puts a spring in my step and a constant smile on my face. How can anyone frown as they hear the classic "chestnuts roasting on an open fire..."? It's impossible not to be happy. Of course I am overwhelmingly annoying when it comes to this. If you aren't in the Christmas spirit, you might not want to risk being around me. I'll exhaust myself with every trick in the book to make you more gleeful and bright. I have to say, however, that living in London for 12 years has made me all the more excited about the holiday period. In fact, I have to blame the retailers for that fact. Christmas starts earlier and earlier in the shops around London town. The Christmas music is piped through the glittering halls filled with wreaths, baubles and various reindeer or elaborate portrayals of Old Saint Nick. Not surprisingly, however, there is one store that seems to get the "vibe" just right each and every year. Their little elves work around the clock to create the world's most perfect and picturesque Christmas scene. Naturally, I am speaking of none other than Ralph Lauren. Somehow my favourite brand even manages to make the American flag look festive this time of year. Truly, it's amazing.
In year's past I've gone into the Ralph Lauren home store in Chelsea as sort of a tradition to see the way in which Ralph Lauren have put together their Christmas scene. They are always a little later than the rest, as if to say perfection takes time. They keep you waiting, yet it's always worth the wait. This year I was kindly granted permission to photograph in store - a first. I was invited in to take a look around before the doors opened to the public and given free reign to snap away at every corner. I came away with more ideas than pictures (and that's saying something since I took 200 snaps). Not only was I inspired by the decor, I was also supplied with a number of gift options for the holiday season.
So, all this leads me to sharing a two-fold piece with you here today - one part decor and one part gift giving. Everything you see here is gift-able, from the posh caviar set (doesn't everyone need one of these) to the skull toothpicks. Is it wrong to admit I want it all?
Visit Ralph Lauren in London to check out the Christmas decorations in store now:
1 New Bond St
020 7535 4600
All pictures taken using the Olympus Pen. FFG is an ambassador for Olympus in the UK.