I apologize for the delay of this blog as things got a bit hectic around the office preparing for, what turned out to be an amazing, Christmas Walk.
The weekend after Thanksgiving turned out to be yet another cold and rainy weekend, but that didn’t stop me from getting my Christmas shopping done. Yes, done! I avoided Black Friday like the plague and waited out the crowds and clamor in my pajamas in front of the TV, cozily sipping hot tea and cocoa while enjoying holiday movies in the comfort of my home.
When small business Saturday finally arrived, my friend and I headed to Oswego Family Restaurant located at 69 S. Main St. (630-554-0340) for some shopping fuel. The place was packed, but the service was calm and we were seated in a cozy booth and not rushed in or out. The food was comforting and the prices were even better.
After our late breakfast, our first stop was the Marmalade Tree where I picked up some cute Christmas tree decorations and a few candles that were hand poured locally by Merrie & Jane especially for the store. The red velvet and chestnut candles smelled so good I wanted to eat them!
Next, we headed to American Male where I found the perfect gift for my friend and I made him wait out in the rain so I could buy it. I can’t tell you what it is since he likes to read my blog but it’s perfect and I know he’ll like it.
After that, we stopped in at The Village Grind for a refuel and besides wolfing down some apple and pear praline pie, I purchased another candle made by 1803 Candles which is hand made in Illinois. The scent of the candle is called “Barn Raising” and I know just the name alone will evoke nostalgia in my mother, who was raised on a farm, when she receives it.
Last stop on Main Street was Floral Expressions where I found a gift for myself, two adorable stocking holders at a nicely discounted price!
It was fun to not have to fight the traffic, wait in long lines or fight the crowds. Instead, it was nice to find unique locally made gift items, see customers enjoying themselves and be treated like an old friend while supporting the local economy.
After leaving Main Street, I hate to admit it, but we had to run into a big box store for a toiletry purchase and as soon as I walked in, I couldn’t wait to get out. Long lines, screaming babies, crowded isles. That life is definitely not for me anymore!
We still needed a few more gifts to wrap up our shopping so we headed to The Fox Winery, located at 5600 Route 34, where they specialize in creating small lots of handcrafted, award winning wines. They are a full service winery and offer wine tastings every day and also host special events year round. While browsing the store, we were introduced to and sampled three different wines. Each was delicious in its own way.
With the grapes grown nearby it means lower or practically non-existent transportation cost which translates into very affordable very good wine! Our favorite of the tastings was FVW Spiced Wine, a slightly sweetened red wine with flavors of allspice, clove, cinnamon and hint of orange. This wine will warm you from the inside out and is great for gift giving! If you don't have a chance to make it to the winery you can always order online at www.foxvalleywinery.com or give them a call at 630-554-0404.
Shopping locally for holiday gifts is perfect for my friends and family who are sure that Oswego is in the middle of nowhere and possibly too far to come and visit. This year I am giving gifts that are sure to entice them to come and visit more often. Special wine from our local winery, great smelling candles that will remind them of our great village every time they light them and fashion forward clothing and jewelry from our local shops will satisfy even the best of my “fashionista” friends!
Although my 30 day “challenge” is technically over, my shopping locally is not. There are so many benefits to shopping locally that I surely won’t be reverting back to my old way. I’ve discovered so much in my own backyard that frankly, I am kicking myself for not having discovered it all much earlier. I hope you will also discover and enjoy the benefits of shopping locally especially during this season of gift giving. It definitely pays to shop local and I urge you to skip the mall and shop small!