If you are looking to crank up your stress level for the holidays, we encourage you to shop in congested areas. But if you are looking for festive, Currier and Ives ambiance, why not shop at local stores, especially when doing so benefits the community as a whole?
In the spirit of the season, volunteers, chambers of commerce and businesses have joined up to create a joyful holiday environment where shoppers feel welcome and relaxed.
Best of all, the Tri-Lakes village communities have done well in holding their holiday events consecutively instead of all on the same weekend. That avoids scheduling conflicts in Santa's appointment book.
Tupper Lake kicked off Shop Tupper Lake for the Holidays this past weekend, Saranac Lake starts its Home for the Holidays events this weekend (there are also some next weekend), and Lake Placid gets its Holiday Village Stroll on next weekend. It doesn't end there, however. Events and specials are continuing throughout the holidays. Check the calendar in the Enterprise, on page 5 in print and online at the bottom of the homepage.
Saranac Lake has some new events this year such as community sing-along caroling at Berkeley Green, a snowman-building contest, movies, hot cocoa and a bonfire. There will also be free wrapping of locally purchased gifts by the hard-working elves of the Saranac Lake Youth Center. (Just show a local receipt.)
There will also be the usual events in Saranac Lake: the busy Sparkle Village craft fair today and Saturday, lighting of the village tree on Saturday and Santa coming next Friday evening.
And here's some good news: Nancy Moriarty at Lake Flour Bakery, St. Bernard's Catholic Church and Bob Farmer, owner of the former state Department of Health and Labor building on St. Bernard Street, have agreed to open their private parking lots to the community during the holidays. Special thank-yous go to them. Don't forget that you can order baked goods or drop by the church for some quiet reflection while you're there.
As always, we cannot emphasize enough that shopping locally is excellent for your positive shopping experience, the quality of your gifts and boosting the local economy. Money you spend on the Internet or out of town leaves your community; it's an economic drain for your area. But every dollar you give a local merchant stays here and is recirculated, usually multiple times, maintaining and improving the local business and job offerings.
And you can get fantastic gifts, too. Try it; you'll see.