The 2022 EAL Holiday Guide

by Jess Margeson

As the days turn darker and the temperatures cooler, thoughts naturally turn to the impending Holiday Season. Read on to discover helpful hints for making the most of this magical time-all while shopping and supporting “local’’ as well!



This new addition is located in Midtown Auburn and offers a well-curated wine and spirits list.

The owner Jordan Whitley recommends having their “Hostess Trio’’ on hand for the holidays.

The perfect gift for all your holiday host or gifting needs is comprised of: A Sparkling, White, and Red selection, respectively.

And Cerulean’s Director of Operations, Chris Kennedy, and Whitley have hand selected these special bottles, which will be available in late November.




Snuggly situated in the heart of Auburn, The Collegiate Hotel boasts one-of-a-kind décor and an upscale ambiance-offering everything from rooftop drinks to live music.

The coming holiday season will prove no exception, as Owner Kim Wirth describes, “Yes-we go all out to decorate the hotel for the holidays-from our over-sized nutcracker greeters affectionately dubbed Shug-A-Plum and Mistle-Bo to our signature upside-down tree in the hotel lobby-we put our spin on all of the décor!”

This year and just in time for Thanksgiving, The Collegiate will transform its rooftop bar into “The CoHo Ho Christmas Pop-Up Bar” for the first time!

Wirth elaborates, “The seasonal bar will be a unique experience boasting specialty holi- day cocktails that can even be enjoyed in the comfort of your own heated ‘Boozie Bubble’ available for rent along with decorations to rival any Griswold’s lawn! Even including a “snow” shower every 20 minutes!”



Paired with partners such as The 1856 and The Culinary Center, The Spa at Laurel completes what is being called Alabama’s first “ Ultra-Luxury Hotel Experience.’’

Guests can stay directly on the property, taking full advantage of the rooftop terrace and other amenities while being treated to top-shelf culinary and dining experiences and opulent spa services right in the heart of The Loveliest Village.

Chandra Perry of Spa Laurel expounds, “Our boutique is a lovely blend of high-end skincare essentials which extend the benefit of your spa treatment in addition to an array of lifestyle products both to purchase as gifts or to buy simply to pamper yourself.”

She adds, “We also carry a beautiful array of lifestyle gifts from local Auburn vendors. A personal favorite of mine is the silken lingerie pieces for mix and match courtesy of our partner Magnolia James Boutique, which help create a comfy evening at home”.




Family-owned and operated, Swanson Diamond Center has become a fixture on The Plains.

With a long-standing tradition built on trust and high ethical standards, shoppers can feel assured when making a special purchase.

Their friendly staff and the owners themselves encourage potential customers to come peruse pieces (both brand new and estate) in a relaxed, low-pressure environment.
So, if you are looking for something to dazzle this season-look no further!




Upon graduation, Brooke Kirkpatrick quickly recognized the need for an “Upscale Women’s Boutique” to round-out other apparel offerings already in Auburn.

Thus, “Magnolia James’’ was launched.

In partnership with her mother, she seeks to offer patrons of all ages premium selections not always available in towns of similar size.

Eagerly anticipating the holiday season, Kirkpatrick confirms that “The PJ Harlow Pajama” remains a perennial favorite. Explaining that “These fabulous pieces are designed for women by women and boast a unique combination of buttery soft knits paired with silky satins. The result is a completely luxurious look and feel!”

For a smaller gift, she recommends scents from The Hedge Farm Collection, topped off with custom, lux gift wrap selections, also available in-store.




Another relatively new addition to town, The Halo Salon, has quickly estab- lished itself as a “go-to” for everything hair and beauty. From blowouts to cuts and color, the salon has it all.

For frequent guests, Stylist Caylee Glover recommends the gift of a “Monthly Blow Out Membership.”

Exact details can be found on the salon’s website. All services include a complimentary glass of champagne!