Detour Ahead

By Kate Riley November 20, 2009

Ever have one of those days/weeks/months where you just get nothing done ?  My list of projects to finish this week was a mile long, but I barely made a dent in it.  There were cabinets to paint, stockings to sew, emails to return, laundry to finish, a household to run, and children to take care of.  But when your little tykes are ill, it’s just about impossible to get anything done, or to get any sleep either. 

During our walk downtown running some errands, we happened to pass the local Christmas Fanstasia shop. Just try walking two small children (who wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus) past this charming display behind beveled glass, and resisting their request to visit.  It’s completely impossible.  

So despite all my best plans to check off some of those items on my long list, I stopped, and then welcomed this little detour.   

peek through window

My home town has a great big store dedicated only to Christmas and nothing else.  This shop is really an amazing sight to see, and folks come from all around to browse this enchanting place.  The proprietors spend all year decorating in preparation for this season, and it shows.  The shop is filled with every decoration and ornament you can imagine, and we simply couldn’t stay away. 

fantasia store 

Tree after tree of every theme imaginable. 

Sweets, anyone ?

candy combo 

candy tree


There’s a tree that supposedly caters to the fellows.  But I can appreciate the hammers, wrenches, footballs, poker chips, and beer ornaments just as much as the guys.


beer combo


A twelve foot tall jungle tree, covered with all kinds of creatures, and with an amazing tree topper of striped reeds. 

jungle combo

jungle tree topper


Ladies, the shoe tree is irresistible.

shoe combo


Although I like these blue suede shoes on the Elvis tree too. 

blue suede shoes

  elvis ornament

Rows and shelves of beautiful nativities and angels

angels in a row

Traditional Santas and non-traditional Santas in every crazy kind of outfit

traditional santas

santa trio


An entire room dedicated to Christmas village collectors

christmas village

chrsitmas village


This Flamingo motel nestled among the Victorians made me laugh

flamingo hotel


There are an endless supply of novelty ornaments, from fishing, to western, to dogs, cats, you name it, they’ve got it.


Whether you like dice . . .

dice ornaments

or fancy cowboy boots. . .

cowboy boots


They have an unbelievable selection of elegant ornaments too, from butterflies to birds nests to intricately detailed glass ornaments. 

birds nest

brown and white ornament

 jeweled ornament

ballerina tree

There is so much to look at, we spent almost an hour just appreciating all the details.   

The focal point is the upside down tree that greets you as you enter.

upsidedown tree

This year, it is decked out with cherry and lime colored ornaments and it is a twelve foot tall spectacle. 

cherry and lime


So glad we took this detour today.  After all, those home improvement projects can wait. 

But I confess I’ve officially been bitten by the Christmas bug.


  1. That is an incredible store! Oh how I would love to visit, the ornaments you can get over here, now positivily seem dull and boring (being mostly round).
    Good on you to take the Christmas detour and letting us enjoy it too.

  2. If I went in there, I don’t think I’d ever come out! What an amazing spot. I love the shoe ornaments! I’ve always wanted one of those Christmas villages…I think the girls would love having one. Wish we had a spot to put one. ;) An ornament addict could really get lost in there! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

  3. Oh my goodness!!!! Lets just say I would never, ever, leave that place…. It would be christmas all year round at our place for sure! How did you ever convince your kids that it was time to go??

  4. To be fair, Kate, if I was walking with you past this store, I’d be begging to go inside, too! My problem with stores like this is that I look at every little thing, so I need to have the time to spend browsing. Then, of course, I want to buy everything and there goes the budget!

  5. Sometimes you just know the kids want to look too. I’m glad you stopped so we could
    take the tour too. So many lovely items.

  6. What beautiful Christmas inspiration. I’d love to visit that store! I love the little nutcracker peaking through the leaded glass.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  7. oh my word, that looks incredible……Kate, thanks so much for also taking the time to share with us. You were absolutely right…it was a good thing to take the time to walk thru there. That certainly WILL give you the bug!!!


  8. In the years to come you’ll forget all those things on your list and remember the day you stopped to take the time with your little ones to smell the cinnamon….they only believe for a very short time……..

  9. Those kind of places keep the Christmas magic alive for both young & old. Thank you for sharing. I’m sure that your children were enchanted.

  10. I’ve decided to take a detour myself and leave home improvements projects on the back burner while I decorate for the holidays and then enjoy them for a bit!! Loved seeing images from this store!

  11. Un. Believe. Able. It would be totally worth it to get in my car and drive 2 days just to visit that store. My husband would chain me to the house if we had a store like that close by. Not so good for the budget but oh-so-good for the decor!! Thanks for making me jealous!

  12. I am always so overwhelmed by Christmas decorations. I don’t know how to navigate those stores. I just suddenly find myself fixated on all the pretty lights and sparkles, and next thing I know, an hour has passed. I’ll miss decorating for Christmas this year. I left my tree and all my ornaments back east at my parents’ home — I couldn’t fit them in the car for the drive to CA.

  13. Just the thing to get you in the Christmas spirit! This year we finally have enough room to get an actual “big” Christmas tree instead of our little table top tree. Can’t wait to start decorating this year :)

  14. Love Marissa’s , purchased some cool 3-d glasses last year for the kids. I think we will have to stop by this weekend for a peak and maybe a late birthday gift to myself ;).

  15. The Christmas bug has a nice bite. No red, itchy reaction. Glad you enjoyed your little detour.

    If you’d enjoy having a cute piece of Vietri pottery for Christmas, take a quick look at my post from this past Monday, November 16. I’m celebrating my 100th post by giving away a “Rudolfo” chip and dip set from the Vietri outlet down the road from me. My blog is small, so there won’t be too many entries–good odds of winning!

    Hope everyone is your household is feeling completely well in time for a beautiful Thanksgiving.

  16. Sorry to hear the little ones have been sick. But it’s a comfort to hear you have ‘unproductive’ days/weeks too. Me, I feel like I’ve been in that mode since 2007 :)

  17. Made the same detour just the other day. Overwhelming. Gorgeous. Didn’t you love that they displayed that tree upside-down! Your photos are wonderful, what a fantastic review Kate! This really puts Petaluma on the Christmas map!

  18. Hi Christa – I couldn’t leave without buying the most charming set of Wizard of Oz ornaments, since my daughter was the cuuuuutest Dorothy this year for Halloween. A little nostalgic memorabilia to remember 2009.

  19. I’ve never heard of that store. Must find it!! The upside down tree looks like a chandelier doesn’t it?! I’ve read so many rants today…I’m tired. Your blog was a breath of fresh air. Thanks for that. Holly

  20. I have to say that I love the ornaments on the upside down tree. I have never heard of such. My MIL had a Christmas Shop in Florida but it was in a small town and it didn’t have the cliental to keep it going. She still buys at market though:)

  21. If this doesn’t put you in the Christmas mood not much else will. Thanks for taking us all along with you. It’s funny how when the holiday season starts we can’t get enough of it…we become almost childlike in anticipation. The music, the smells, the energy, the decorations, the lights. It’s a magical time. As the season fades we are ready to see it go and dread putting it all away. When the next holiday season arrives again its as if we are seeing it again with fresh new eyes…

    Wishing you and your family a very happy and blessed holiday season…

  22. It is amazing how a little detour can help with your mood and stress levels. Sometime just letting your mind relax is all you need to get back on track. This looks like a really fun place to get into the Christmas spirit!

  23. Hope your kiddos are feeling better these days. This looks like a worthwhile detour. The cabinets can get painted next month… :)

  24. Kate, What a wonderful store. Thanks for sharing. The photos are fabulous. Next time I am down in that area I am sure to look up the store. Is it in downtown Napa or Sonoma?? I like to buy ornaments all year long for my “tree” made from an old wooden ladder. Thanks for sharing

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