Driving through Rome the other day, I got to thinking about how proud I am of our community this holiday season. Many of my favorite businesses are emphasizing the benefits of shopping local, and my friends have been following suit. Decorations are up throughout the city and shops are decorated. This year, perhaps more than other years, I feel a sense of charity and happiness that surrounds the season, not just about what we may receive, but about being grateful for what we already have.
Here are a few upcoming events to take note of:
Brenda’s Natural Foods Holiday Open House: Brenda’s newly expanded natural and local foods emporium will be hosting a holiday open house on Saturday, December 21st from 10am-3pm. Take the chance to visit her new space, watch the progress on the soon-to-open cafe, and enjoy free refreshments. You can also try your changes at a huge basket of local food items, just in time for holiday festivities.
Oak & Ivy Artisan Faire: The lovely Oak & Ivy Bed & Breakfast will be hosting its annual Artisan Faire this Saturday, December 7th from 10am-5pm and Sunday, December 8th (10am-4pm). Vendors will have all sorts of handmade wonderfulness, from original artwork to handcrafted wearables, decor and food. An added treat with this event is the opportunity to see proprietor Fred Rice’s breathtakingly decorated Christmas trees!
Shop, Sip and Stroll on James Street: This event, new this year, is organized by Rome Main Streets Alliance. On Saturday, December 14th from 2-8pm, nineteen James Street businesses will have their bells on for a celebration of decorations, shopping, and food. Each business will offer the chance to win a $25 gift certificate, and those that get their official card (available at the RMSA headquarters at 416 N. James St.) stamped by all the stores will be entered to win an instant cash prize of $100. The headquarters will also house a shopping boutique with several different artisans and crafters. All participating stores will have a Shop, Sip & Stroll poster on their front door to make it easy to participate. Those wishing more information about this event can call Joe Ferlo at (315) 225-4259.
Shop Rome First: This year-round program kicks into high gear in December. Forty-seven businesses are participating in this year’s program, including twenty-seven that are accepting the program’s 20% off coupon through December 24th! You can print your own copies of the coupon and find more information at ShopRomeFirst.com. There is also a Treasure Hunt and a drawing, both featuring the chance to win lots of great prizes.
Though December can be magical, it’s not just about this time of year. Shopping locally is something that you can do every day to make a difference in your community. Your purchases pay the salaries of your neighbors and friends. Your donations to local organizations provide services to your community. Sales Tax dollars that are generated support schools, roads, parks, police and fire departments, and civic improvements. Spending time with neighbors and friends in shared experiences brings us all together. I wish you the very best that the season has to bring, and hope to see you around town.