The holidays are truly a magical time at The Garlands. Of course, this year, holiday traditions will be modified for all . . . but the pandemic can’t stop the spirit of community, celebration and Garlands generosity!
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, elves transform every Garlands nook and cranny—inside and out—with twinkle lights, tinsel, trees and more!
Creating the magic involves a little bit of creativity, a lot of TLC and a sleigh-full of holiday bling including . . .
- 50 life-size Santas, snowmen, angels, deer and carolers
- 190 centerpieces
- 21 wreaths
- 37 swags with 97 electric candles and 5,500 white lights
- 14 framed holiday pictures
- 170 lighted or bedazzled snowflakes
- Four Nativity sets
- Four Menorahs
- A horse and carriage and
- Santa’s sleigh, toy sack and presents
to be exact! Plus100 timers to keep the thousands of holiday lights shining bright daily.
A Sweet Feast for the Imagination
Did you hear about the new Garlands vineyard and winery, where the vino is made from candied grapes and stored in root beer barrels? Cheers to this tasty establishment joining The Garlands one-of-a-kind, annual gingerbread village display.
“This year, more than ever, I think we all need the extra cheer that The Garlands gingerbread village brings,” says gingerbread maker and Garlands Pastry Chef Julie Swieca-Gannon, who upholds the Garlands time-honored tradition, with glee!
The bustling town square is the focal point of the multi-tiered, mountainside village that features a whopping seventy-five gingerbread structures and two trains curling through the snowy alps under a star-lit sky.
A gazebo, clock tower, shops and church draw viewers into Chef Julie’s food-fantasy “holiday land,” where caramel and chocolate Rolos serve as roof shingles, brightly colored Skittles are chimney stones and frosted Salerno butter cookies double as wreaths. Gummy Lifesavers, Big Red chewing gum sticks, mini candy-canes and gum-drops are among the candies that round out the features of the mouth-watering landscape.
While entirely edible, please no nibbling!
A Spirit of Kindness and Sense of Community
From the Toys for Tot’s donation collection to the Mitten Tree bedecked with scarves, gloves and hats for people in need, a spirit of kindness and generosity overflows at The Garlands and extends to neighbors in need of good cheer . . . reminding us all of the true meaning of the season.
A Winter Wonderland
Fond memories of prior years’ Garlands “Winter Wonderland” community celebration will serve . . . until next year.
‘Twas the night before Christmas . . .
at The Garlands of Barrington
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house . . .
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse!
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out at The Garlands there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from the bed to see “Why all the chatter?”
Away to the window, we flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Illuminated The Garlands landscape with twinkle lights all a glow.
Of course! ‘Twas the night of The Garlands Winter Wonderland bash –
A festive tradition that is always a blast!
More rapid than eagles the guests they all came,
Garlands residents, their families and staff – they greeted us by name!
The children so excited to visit grandma and gramps
Dressed in their holiday finest throughout the hallways they danced!
To the hand-crafted Gingerbread Village, they did trot
To marvel at each candy-coated Barrington hotspot!
Off for a stroll down Candy Cane Lane
To visit with Santa and sing a carol’s refrain.
There were letters to Santa, Toys for Tots, eggnog and cookies galore,
Carolers, bell ringers and oh so much more!
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof!
Reindeer petting, cocoa sipping, s’more roasting – the fun never stopped!
As ‘round the campus in a horse-drawn carriage, we clip-clopped.
The lights – how they twinkled! The guests – how merry,
The decorations so festive, the mood – light and airy.
An overwhelming spirit of camaraderie and generosity abound –
It’s the warmth and hospitality The Garlands offers throughout the holidays and year-‘round!
Then, as the evening’s festivities came to a close,
We said our sweet goodbyes, au revoirs and “adios.”
And I heard them all exclaim, as they drove out of sight –
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!