Thanksgiving is a truly and uniquely American Holiday. While it was originally created to give thanks for the bountiful harvest and the preceding year, it has become a day to spend with family and friends.
In recent years, Thanksgiving Day has become more and more just another shopping day in the commercial Christmas Season; a prelude to Black Friday. Black Friday has creeped its way into our Thanksgiving Day, with stores opening earlier and earlier, and many choosing to open on Thanksgiving Day and try to lure shoppers with ridiculous deals and sales.
While many readers will spend a little time shopping on Black Friday, and some even on Thanksgiving Day, I would like to offer you this plan for Small Business Saturday.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy, and offer an opportunity for truly unique gifts for the ones you love.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast of ham biscuits with Country Ham from Spivey's Market on Baker Street. Spivey's is also a great place to get that country ham for Christmas and has the beat meat department in town. Spivey's Market, 120 Baker Street, (434) 634-3203.
After Breakfast head down Brink Road to Carolyn's Creations. Carolyn has a truly unique shop that really can take care of all your gift giving needs. Jim Shore ornaments make a great gift for nearly everybody, and they will remember you every year when they decorate thier tree. Carolyn also has Tervis and Corkcicle cups and canteens. The new Corkcicle will keep a cold drink cold for hours. Carolyn also has Elf on a Shelf, Possible Dreams Santas, unique table top items, a large selection of ornaments, and many unique gifts. On Friday and Saturday Carolyn is offering 30% off all ornaments and stems. Get there early, the shop closes at 2 pm on Saturdays, but is open until 5:30 on Friday. Carolyn's Creations, 1363 Brink Road, (434) 336-1003.
For the sports fan on your list, stop by Top Hand Sports. Apparel, lessons or just some time in the batting cages. Top Hand Sports, 119 North Main Street, TopHandSports.com
While you are on this side of town, don't forget the consignment shops and antique shops on Halifax Street. Lora's A-Z and Twice Told Tales & Treasures are chock full of everything imaginable. Used books, household items, furniture, accessories, and well, the list goes on and on. Consignment stores offer more than great deals-get the perfect gift for the one on your list that is difficult to buy for. Lora's A-Z, 413 Halifax Street. Twice Told Tales & Treasures, 327 Halifax Street.
While you are on Halifax Street, stop by Clements Mayes Photography and Picture Perfect. While sitting for a portrait may not fit into your day, if you sneak that favorite print, poster or photograph out of the house, you can have it framed and back in time for Christmas, or have that old family photo restored. Prepay for a sitting for your kids or grandkids, or make an appointment for yourself and give your loved ones a photo, especially those living far away who might just want a glimpse of Grandma's smile. Clements Mayes Photography and Picture Perfect Custom Framing, 401 Halifax Street, mayesphoto.com.
Have someone on your list for whom clothes are the perfect gift? Stop by Sloan's Boutique in the Emporia Shopping Center. Sloan's offers unique fashions for men and women. Sloan's Boutique, 528 North Main Street, (434) 348-4240, sloansboutique.com.
Shoes make the perfect gift. Who doesn't love a new pair of shoes? Swing by White's Shoe Store, next to Food Lion. White's has offered quality shoes since 1954, and has all the best brands. From Dansko and Birkenstock to UGG, Sperry and Clarks, White's has it all. White's Shoe Store, 212 East Cloverleaf Drive.
After shoe shopping, you will be about ready for lunch. Right across the parking lot is Arby's. Swing by for a Roast Beef sandiwch, one of the new Fajita Flatbreads and finish it off with a Pumpkin Cheesecake or Mint Shake and one of the new Salted Caramel Cookies (which are served warm!). Arby's of Emporia, 109 Market Drive.
After lunch, head back to South Main Street.
On your way don't forget Marketplace Signs and Apparel and the Gyspy Flea on West Atlantic Street.
Marketplace Signs and Apparel has a great selection of unique gifts and many item that can be personalized, including Baseball Caps, Tennis Shoes and T-Shirts. Marketplace Signs and Apparel, 317 West Atlantic Street.
For a unique selection of just about everything, swing by The Gypsy Flea. From garden flags to fancy soaps and nearly everything in between, even the most difficult person on your list can have a gift under the tree. The Gypsy Flea, 206 West Atlantic Street, thegypsyflea.com
CJ's Furniture and Pawn is a great place for a little bit of everything. Electronics from tablets and laptops to gaming consoles and televisions. Household items from china and glassware to sterling silver. Got a movie buff on your list? CJ's has a large selection of DVD Movies. And don't forget the Jewelry. While you are there remember to register for one of their two drawings: Win a toaster oven on November 30 and a $100 Gift Certificate on December 9. This month CJ's if offering 10% off everything except jewelry and new furniture and has layaway for Christmas. CJ's Furniture and Pawn, 308 South Main Street.
Also on South Main Street is Paws, Purrs and Hers, a great place for the pet lover on your list. Paws, Purrs and Hers, the most unique boutique has great gifts from accessories to pet supplies (no, a bag of dog food isn't the most romantic gift, but it is very thoughtful) and a selection of clothing that includes Simply Southern Tees. Paws, Purrs and Hers, 332 South Main Street.
While the Riparian Woman's Club is not a small business, they have a great selection on miniatures of prominent buildings in the Emporia-Greensville area. Many folks have been collecting these for years, and you are likely to know someone that is missing a piece or two. The Riparians are ending the project, and have many of the miniatures from previous years still in stock. In addition, they are selling the books (in two volumes) Sketches of Greensville County. Both the miniatures and the books make great gifts for anyone that has moved away and is a bit homesick, and are a great value at $15 each. If you are interested in either, give Evelyn Ewing a call, (434) 634-9227.
The last shopping stop is down in Skippers. The Good Earth Peanut Company has, literally, the perfect gift. Peanuts, trail mixes, butters and preserves. The Editor really does like peanuts, smokehouse almonds and the butter toasted pecans, and can attest that any of those (or anything else from Good Earth Peanuts) will be a welcome gift on Christmas Morn. The best part: you don't even have to drive to Skippers-order online and let them ship it right to the lucky giftee! Good Earth Peanut Company, 5334 Skippers Road, Skippers, goodearthpeanuts.com.
One last local business to make your Saturday complete (and to keep you from eating any more Thanksgiving leftovers). Head on over to Franken Stube for a great German meal. From German Sausages to Schnitzel, with great sides (try the Cucumber Salad) and even better deserts. In addition, Franken Stube has a selection of German candies and baked goods that will also make great gifts. Franken Stube, 605 West Atlantic Street.
Help our local businesses this season, skip the big box stores and get some great and unique gifts for everyone on your list. This list isn't by any means comprehensive, and there are many other great local businesses in our community. Show some love, shop local.