Happy holiday windows

The ballots are in, and the grand prize for the 2010 Holiday Window Contest goes to Thee Foxes Trot, at 260 Forest Ave.

Created by the store's owner, Rosalie Gelston, and her creative visual merchandising team, the window display of holiday wreaths, silver pines, polar bears, snow globes and holiday merchandise brings a little winter wonderland to Laguna Beach.

"The use of lighting, props and clothing give you the warmth of the wintry season," Maggie Eisenstark wrote in her entry.

"Each year I look forward o their holiday display and this year they did not disappoint," wrote Janet Cruciana. "I was happy to read in the paper that there was a contest."

Gelston wins not only bragging rights but a $25 American Express gift card from Times Community News, publisher of the Coastline Pilot.

Honorable mention goes to Laguna Beach Cyclery at 214 Thalia St., "because they have the cutest matching Christmas trees in each of their front windows and the lights are hung with care," according to one voter.

Sure to get Santa's helpers in the shopping spirit, the arrangement at Thee Foxes Trot depicts the array of goods the store has to offer, including home décor, clothing for men and women, a variety of "Laguna Beach" outerwear, jewelry, books, greeting cards and obscure items like guitar clocks and an aluminum flip-flop candy dish.

With unusual Christmas tree ornaments, cozy winter pajamas and an especially fun selection of gifts for men, Gelston said her goal is to help people get all of their holiday shopping done in one place.

Another voter said the joyful and happy display managed to get her in the mood for Christmas during an otherwise tough time.

"This has been an incredibly awful economic year, but the owner put herself out financially, spiritually, and physically to make us feel better about life, and to give the child inside all of us a chance to smile and feel some joy and beauty during this holiday season," she said. "When I saw the display, it got me in the mood for the Christmas and New Year holidays. There are so many other religious holidays that are to be celebrated as well during this time of year, and I think that this window display welcomes all beliefs to share in the joy, beauty of this season."

Gelston, whose been known for exhibiting creative displays throughout 24 years of business in Laguna Beach, said she feels that an imaginative window display is a vital component to a successful retail business, and is thankful to have such a talented and creative staff.

"Our windows are always a collaborative effort," she said. "I would like to pay special thanks to Julie Holt, Miche Rudnick, Janet Cruciana and Maria Williams for putting such a fabulous holiday display together."

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