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20 November 2011

My favorite Dallas Christmas tradition is the tree and Holiday decor the flagship Neiman Marcus displays each year. They are, in the traditional Neiman's aesthetic, against tradition and the trees in the past have been made out of everything from chrome car parts, blown glass and origami money, to name a few. When I am at the downtown Neiman's during Christmas I feel like I'm walking into the New York Macy's in the late 1950's but better. It reminds me that in some places the call for elegance and a little flash in the everyday is not dead. 

Now my friend Evan lives right above Neiman Marcus in the friendly Mercantille building and we go over to his place every year for hot drinks and the light show. This is when it is officially Christmastime in my eyes - I mean it is hard to argue with a group countdown and Santa repelling down the store building or ziplining into Main Street Gardens. 

I bring a dessert to Evan's every year to add to his divine spread. This year I adapted a gluten-free, vegan pumpkin pie recipe that I found on Hail Merry's blog. I was so easy and cleanup is even more simple since everything is mixed in a blender or food processor. It was also a big hit by all types of eaters. Markus usually won't eat pie and he had three slices even after finishing off a dinner at The Cedars Social moments before! 

Baked Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ingredients 

1 8" gluten-free pie crust (I use Whole Foods Bakehouse)
12oz soft tofu
2 cups canned pumpkin pie mix
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/4 cup maple syrup (this butter pecan one I found at Whole Foods added a lot of flavor)

1. Preheat oven to 425F and dethaw your pie crust
2. Puree pumkin pie mix and tofu in a blender until smooth 
3. Add brown sugar and syrup and continue blending
4. Pour mixture into crust and bake at 425F for 15 minutes 
5. Reduce temperature to 350F and bake for 30-40 minutes until set 
6. Cool before serving 

I sprinkled it with some extra brown sugar, cinnamon and organic sugar before baking.

A finished pie ready to kick off the Christmas season!

The view of the street and parade route from Evan's flat. 

Evan and I on his terrace. My well-mannered and cultured friend. 

A gorgeous Main Street Gardens tree! 

I've never used the words lackluster and Neiman Marcus in a sentence before but that was sadly the case with their "tree" this year. Ken Downing, let's chat about this soon.

I love how the store decorates their elevator bank each year and this year, gladly, was no exception and possibly even better than ever. I love how it reminds me of Down with Love. 

The children's tubes as part of the outdoor window treatments.If you have a child under the age of 8 and do not take them to these window displays you are depriving them!

Glowing, color changing orbs at each intersection pointing us back to our car. 

My security detail. I get really into Christmas, street parades and people in stilts, y'all.

So Chirstmastime is finally here for me. I look forward to a short work week and then watching the Macy's parade in my pajamas. What traditions tell you that the Holiday season is really underway? Are you going to see the lights downtown this year?

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