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Comfort Me Boutique—which has locations in Lincoln Park and Hyde Park—is owned by a mother-daughter trio. With a penchant for all things cozy and, well, comforting, Bethany Thomas and her daughters Alyssa and Melanie (pictured) fill their shop with soft, luxurious pajamas, fine teas, flea-market finds, and cute gifts. We imagine there's no Christmas cozier than the Thomas's, so we asked the friendly family to fill us in on how they spend—and shop for— the holidays. Read on for tips on creating the most comforting Christmas ever, and where to shop locally for your family members.
What are some of your favorite mother-daughter traditions?
Alyssa: Well, all of our answers are food-related. Whenever our mom comes to the Lincoln Park store, we get pizza from Armitage Pizzeria, a really good East-Coast-style pizza place right down the block from our store. Pizza is our Mom's favorite.
Bethany: We like to go out to dinner, and love a good glass of wine.
Where do you typically shop for one another each year for the holidays?
Alyssa: This sounds silly, but we do a lot of shopping at our own store for each other. Oftentimes people think that as owners, we own most of our merchandise, but we don't just take things right off the rack like people think! We also shop at other local boutiques and vintage stores for fun little treasures. On my wish list this year: Vintage furniture for my new place and the Count Me Healthy bracelet that we carry.
Bethany: Our store, or other local businesses like Rara Avis and Art Effect. On my wish list: an iPad, and a faux fur vest from our store.
Melanie: [I shop for gifts at] Estate sales, Comfort Me, specialty food or kitchen stores, and bookstores.
What from your own inventory would make a great gift from mother to daughter, or from daughter to mother?
Alyssa: From mother-to-daughter, we carry beautiful initial necklaces by Stylish Girl. They're delicate cursive letters that are like little pieces of art. From daughter-to-mother, we have uber soft winter white throws by Pyar & Co., designed in Lincoln Park.
Melanie: [We also carry] Craftbelly custom picture frame for family photos.
Where do you shop for other members of your family?
Alyssa: I get my dad custom cologne from Aroma Workshop every year that he loves, and this year I did some shopping at Trunk Club.
Bethany: I shop at local shops like Independence.
Finally, you creatures of comfort: What are some of your favorite ways to have a totally relaxed, comfortable holiday at home?
Alyssa: We stay in our pajamas for as long as possible on Christmas day and hang out. It's nothing formal at all, which I love.
Bethany: We have many family traditions which are always comforting to me. We make homemade pizzas on Christmas Eve and open one present. On Christmas, we wake up and "open" our stockings first, then take turns opening presents. Mom and Dad make homemade waffles and eggs Benedict for breakfast, while Dad blasts his favorite Christmas tunes.
Melanie: Holiday room fragrance, lighted Christmas tree, holiday music, dogs lounging by fireplace, great homemade food and drink, comfy clothes, and having whole family together.
· Comfort Me Boutique [Official Site]
· All Comfort Me Boutique coverage [Racked Chicago]
· Go Home for the Holidays With Heather Becker [Racked Chicago]