Happy holiday shopping

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By Sarah Corbin

Shopping & Business Blogger

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.


A whimsical holiday

For kids


Arts and crafts

Hearth and home


Gourmet gifts

For the working set


For Her

For Him



Holiday Spectacular


Holiday Gifts 2011

Email: sarah.abboreno@gmail.com Twitter: @localoakpark

Reader Comments

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Sarah Corbin from Oak Park  

Posted: December 9th, 2011 8:56 AM

I am very sorry about not being able to feature a location from the Arts District. I knew that when it was going to print. We do have two more gift features coming, already in the works and we have included some photos from Harrison in those features. We were able to, in this first gift section, get to Chicago Ave & Southtown, 2 other shopping areas that are often missed.

Lisa from Oak Park  

Posted: December 8th, 2011 10:57 PM

This Holiday Gift Guide failed yet again to highlight anything available at the shops in the Oak Park Arts District where you can find many unique, one-of-a-kind and eco-friendly gifts. No fancy outdoor holiday decorations, but still plenty of FREE parking!

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