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2018-11-22

Skip Black Friday, Think Smaller

Thanksgiving. The fourth Thursday in November has been a day set aside for giving thanks since 1863. In the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation because he knew that everyone had a reason to be thankful – even in a time of war.

Thanksgiving has long been the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. In recent decades the focus has been more on the actual shopping than giving thanks. Not so very long ago Thanksgiving was a day that was spent with extended family. Families played touch or flag football instead of demeaning the day by planning a shopping trip. Discussions at the dinner table have gone from reasons for being thankful to where the best price on that one hot holiday item is.

Who really wants to spend Thanksgiving camping out in front of some soulless big box store for a price that will inevitably be lower in a week or two?

Sure, the door busters look great, and the prices are low. Ask yourself this, though-is that little bit of savings worth camping out in the cold, driving an hour and then spending another hour (or two or three) trying to get from the interstate to the shopping center. Is it worth it?

Here is another option…We here in Emporia have a wonderful selection of local small businesses.

If it is Christmas that you are looking for, stop by Picture Perfect Custom Framing and Gifts. Stephanie and Clements Mayes have expanded and now offer a wide selection of gifts including Jim Shore and Possible Dreams Santas. In addition, there many other gift options including scented candles and soaps, Scout Bags, Corkcicle insulated beverage ware, wreathes, bows, Old world Christmas Ornaments and, of course, custom framing. On Friday and Saturday only, they are offering 30% off select merchandise.

In the same building as Picture Perfect is Clements Mayes Photography. I cannot imagine anybody’s grandma not welcoming portraits of their grandchildren-or maybe even a sitting of their own. Be sure to talk to Clements and arrange a sitting for you, the kids or the whole family. When the day of the sitting gets close, get everyone gussied up and practice those glowing smiles for grandma.

While you’re parked on Halifax Street, walk on down to Twice Told Treasures and check out Leandra’s varied selection of gently used and consignment merchandise. There is a little bit of everything in this gem of a shop, and surely you can find a gift for that hard to buy for person on your list.

Right next door check out True Patriot’s Antiques. Harvey has some great gifts and this is another great place for that one person that you can never find a Christmas gift for. Stop by and see what speaks to you.

When you are done there, don’t forget City Auto. Yeah, I know, a hardware store. Admit it, though, your spouse has been none too subtle about that noisy dishwasher or harvest gold refrigerator. I know that there are some that would be insulted by the gift of a dishwasher, refrigerator or laundry pair, but not everyone is. 

Surely you have done enough shopping to deserve lunch. Lucky for you, there is no need to move the car or find another parking place. Three Bears in a Tree has a wonderful lunch menu. I can heartily recommend the meatloaf sandwich, but have never had a bad meal here.

Ok, now the car has to be moved. At the next stop you can find a gift and do some good. Samaritan House Thrift may take a bit of work, but it really can be worth it. Like all thrift stores it can be hit and miss, but yes, it can pay off. The best part is that shopping here helps the Samaritan Helping Hands Home meet the needs of their ministry.

It is a good bet that someone on your Christmas gift list would like some clothes. Stop by Slaone’s Boutique in the Emporia Shopping Center. Surely you can find an outfit or two without heading out of town.

While you are at the Emporia Shopping Center, head over to Monte’s Flowers. Not only can you send an arrangement to a loved one out of town, but there are all sorts of gifts.

Just off of North Main Street is Thorpe’s Whole Home Store. Once again, I do know that this sounds like a home improvement store. Take the time to stop and have a look around. Included with the paint brushes and tile samples are some great gifts. Fishing tackle, tee shirts, scented soaps and candles and much more are here to be under your tree.

You’re almost to the next stop-the Hospital Auxiliary Gift shop at SVRMC. Once again, there is a little bit of everything in this small shop. Proceeds from sales help the Auxiliary with their work in the hospital.

Shoes! Who doesn’t like new shoes? White’s Family Shoes will have something for the whole family. White’s has all the name brands that you will find if you head to one of those uninspiring big-box stores. At White’s when you need help, there is actually someone to help.

While you’re in the area, swing through the drive-through at Arby’s and pick up a quick snack. The

Head south, over the bridge and stop at CJ’s Pawn and Furniture and Jim’s Pawn Shop. Both of these stores are more than simple pawn shops. There is new and used furniture, housewares, tools, appliances and too much else to list. In addition, there are electronics-from televisions to laptops-and jewelry.

Before you move the car, head west on Brunswick Avenue a few feet to Back Road Boutique and Gift Shop. Custom embroidery, totes, and too much to list every item. Stop by and check it out.

Heading south on Main Street you will find the Red Barn. Yes, filling stations can have decent gifts. For the Football fan on your list there is a great selection of NFL merchandise. Lottery tickets are also available at the Red Barn, and Lottery tickets-either scratchers or Mega Millions or Power Ball-make great stocking stuffers or card fillers.

The last stop on the list is in Skippers. The Good Earth Peanut Company has everything you need for the last of the people on your list. You can get peanuts in bags or tins-in the shell and out.  They also have a great selection of gift assortments, trail mixes, nut-butters and preserves. They do have more than peanuts; you can get cashews, pecans, almonds and pistachios. The best part of shopping here, besides the double dipped chocolate covered peanuts and butter toasted pecans that you grab for yourself, is that Good Earth can ship your gifts almost anywhere, which will save you a trip to the post office.

While Emporia does not have all of the local retail stores that we once did, there is still a good enough selection of stores that you can skip Black Friday to spend time with your friends and family or just take some time for yourself-curl up on the couch and read a good book, take the kids outside and play in the fallen leaves or just beat your husband in game after game of Scrabble.

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