By Sarah Corbin
This time of year when stores are bustling with more activity than usual, no one holds back. Decorations abound; shopping often becomes entertainment with wine and appetizers. Visiting small retailers can feel like a friendly party.
As a business owner, I loved the holiday preparation and order taking. I even loved the longer hours. It was a time of year that we saw customers return for their holiday favorites, and it was always full of friendly reunions. "How are you and your kids doing?" "You've gotten so much taller." "I'm so glad to hear you all are doing so well." It made the business of having a small business feel very much like family. And that's the thing isn't it? Small business owners treat you like family. They become part of your family. Small business owners are there on our wedding days, birthdays and christenings, and annually for our holiday seasons. And it is this time of year that, as a shopper, I get to go back and say thank you to these folks by getting gifts at their stores. As a retail junky, committed to this community, it's like a double dip of holiday fun. I get to purchase fun things for family and friends that I love, and I get to support the shops that I love in the process.
Opportunities to find just that perfect item are plentiful. This year, when perusing local stores for holiday gift items, I kept family and fun in mind. I hope you enjoy the items I've selected.
And this year, when you are out finding those perfect items – elegant and campy alike – by all means, learn some first names. Introduce yourself to our owner celebrities. They want to get to know you too. You might just find out that one or two of them are your neighbors.
Click here to view the full print section or click on any of the sections below to explore the 2011 Holiday Gifts catalogue.