It is no secret that I love Lawrence. The people, the local shops and restaurants, the enthusiastic events and parades seemingly every other month — what’s not to love?
Lawrence’s charm certainly lasts the whole year through. That being said, there are definitely some aspects of the winter season that make downtown Mass. Street especially jolly and bright this time of year. Let’s take a moment to cherish some of the finer delights.
While the turn in weather tends to push us indoors (The wind! The frostbite! I can’t feel my nose!), the moment the holiday lights are strung up downtown — along with the holly detailing the streetlamp posts and sealed with a red bow — the cold weather instantly becomes more bearable. It’s a small shift in perspective, but it’s all that is needed to remind us of the coming festivities. December boasts some wonderful holiday events, too: VanGo’s Adornment sale (through Dec. 23) and the Downtown Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade (Dec. 7) are a couple of my favorites. There’s no better time to grab a hot cup of joe to warm your bones — and a fresh scone to satisfy your belly — while doing some holiday shopping or watching horse-drawn carriages stroll down Mass. Street.
Beyond the scheduled events, it’s nice to simply visit downtown to admire the storefront window displays. The Toy Store’s windows, 936 Massachusetts St., are always cheerful and imaginative, while Weaver’s Department Store, 901 Massachusetts St., makes sure the mannequins are decked out in celebratory attire. I also love the creativity of Foxtrot’s windows, 823 Massachusetts St.
If you get too cold window-shopping, it’s quite convenient to pop into the Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop, 804 Massachusetts St., to pick up an extra layer of fleece or wool socks. Or, if you need a good warm-up snuggle, I always enjoy stopping by The Dusty Bookshelf, 708 Massachusetts St., or The Raven Book Store, 8 E. Seventh St., to get some kitten lovin’. Alice is usually found on the green chair at The Dusty Bookshelf, while Dashiell and Ngaio keep The Raven warm and cozy.
It’s evident that even on the coldest days, there’s a lot to appreciate about downtown Lawrence. Between holiday events, shopping and simply taking pleasure in a winter weather stroll on Mass. Street, this season can warm up your soul with some community love and holiday spirit. I hope you get the chance to take an afternoon off to spend some time downtown this winter season. If nothing else, make sure to grab a hot latte and cherish the lights.
— Jessica Pauly, aka Mrs. Mass., gives her thoughts on shopping, urban living and what’s new in Lawrence in CheckOut weekly and on her blog, mrsmass.com.