It’s just around the corner—you can feel it. If all the rain this week (for which we are grateful) were snow, you would really feel it. The holidays are upon us. That wonderful time of year when our town sparkles with festive lights and opportunities to sing carols abound. That is on the one hand. On the other are the days we just passed; Black Thursday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday. The cynic in us might say the beginning of the holiday season is more about capitalism and materialism than “good tidings to you.”
This is a perfect weekend to take advantage of the weather, and the calendar, to enjoy our local attractions and all they have to offer before things get too hectic and everyone is in that mad dash. There is something for everyone. Start your Saturday off with coffee and a bagel with Sentinel owner Beth Barhydt at 10 a.m. She wants to hear what’s on your mind. And then stop by the Greenwich Store at the Sentinel to pick up some great Greenwich apparel. This weekend is the Holiday Stroll down Greenwich Avenue. It is always such a festive atmosphere. Stop by McArdle’s to see some really cool ice sculptures.
If you are looking for a place where the gifts are potentially one of a kind items, there is the Greenwich Historical Society’s annual Antiquarius antique show at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center. In fact, the historical society has events throughout next week. Check out their website.
Two of our favorite events of the holiday season happen on Saturday. The first is the Christmas bazaar at Round Hill Community Church. This is such a fun and family-oriented way to kick off the season. They have all sorts of interesting items to purchase and games for kids to take part in. The Reindeer Café is full of delicious edibles made by the church members. And of course Santa will be there taking picture with children of all ages, including laughing adults.
From Round Hill, head over Byram Shubert Library for their tree lighting ceremony. There are tree and menorah lightings all over town. Each one is fun and has its own character. We wish we could cover them all, but unfortunately we cannot. Byram Shubert Library is a wonderful gem, and what better reason to visit, other than getting a book, than to enjoy the tree lighting?
We love all the events happening between now and New Year’s, but one we never miss is First Night in Old Greenwich. The Old Greenwich business district is always charming and full of unique shops. During First Night the Village seems to emerge as if from a Currier and Ives Christmas print, or like Brigadoon from the Scottish mist. There are horse-drawn carriage rides and neighbors enjoying browsing the window displays. It’s festivity and family and community all rolled into one. It is a great way to end Saturday and dine at one of fun restaurants in Old Greenwich.
All of these activities have one thing in common. Have you figured out what it is? They are all local. They do not require a computer or the Internet to make a purchase. The happy faces you see are not on an Amazon box, but on our neighbors’ and our kids’ faces. Shop the stores on the Avenue, in Byram, in Old Greenwich, and do not forget about all the wonderful shops in Cos Cob. Shop them all. Spend your dollars in Greenwich where they will do the most good, helping our local economy thrive.
The Greenwich economy, absent the hedge funds and financial services, is a very local economy. We are all interdependent on one another to succeed. Why buy a book online when you can go to Diane’s Books or the Christ Church Book Store? Our town has many wonderful stores and shops, so please, this holiday season, buy local.