I don’t like shopping malls at Christmas. Too crowded. Too many harried people with too many gifts to buy and too little time.
My husband and my younger daughter don’t mind all that. In fact, for years now they’ve had an annual tradition of heading to the mall on Christmas Eve to shop. This year, though, my husband had the flu. The real thing, influenza, requiring Tamiflu and antibiotics and lots of water and rest. My daughter was so disappointed, but I’m sorry. No way was I stepping into Dad’s shoes to take her to the mall.
But what I could do—and wouldn’t mind at all doing—was take her shopping in the nearby historic district of shops, part of the original community that grew up around the founder’s mill (now long gone) and a railroad depot over 150 years ago. Locals call this area “The Village.”
First we stopped at an ancient candy shop and bought gifts for relatives—a classic 1-pound box of almond toffee crunch and bags of small chocolates individually wrapped to look like adorable, tiny Christmas presents.
Then we walked down the hill to a bookstore that is celebrating 29 years as an independent bookseller. Maybe our purchases will help make that 30 years—our good deed for literacy 🙂
Along the way we stopped in at boutiques housed in the many small storefronts. One large boutique is housed in a former hardware store that closed its doors last year September after being in business since 1897. The new boutique owner has kept many of the hardware store’s original features, including a wall of built-in cabinets and shelves with a library-style rolling ladder.
No stress, no crowds, easy parking (although a block outside the village proper, because parking on the narrow hillside streets is always an issue). A hodgepodge of new stores and treasures to discover around every corner.
You know what? We had a great time! Next year even if my daughter and her dad continue with their annual mall excursion on Christmas Eve, maybe she and I can shop “The Village” a few days earlier.