Monday, December 2, 2013

Maine Monday: Shop Local

Royal River Books in Yarmouth, Maine
Remember bookstores? The pleasant surprise of finding something new and interesting on the shelves, maybe because it came with a shop owners recommendation? Or letting the kiddos slow down, grab a seat in a cozy corner and flip through a new picture book?

As fabulous and convenient as it is to get all your holiday shopping done online this Cyber Monday, I wanted to give a shout out to the small and local businesses that make up our communities. I am just about done with my gift buying and it's all thanks to wandering the aisles of our local toy store and local book store, finding great items that I never would have found with the click of my mouse.

Big C&G picked out some books for his Italophile little brother (Geronimo Stilton: A Mystery in Venice being one of them) and snuck them to the register under his unsuspecting nose during a recent trip to our favorite little bookstore, Royal River Books in Yarmouth. Little C&G and I need to return (he's not as sneaky) so he can select something with a few more pages from their older kids fiction section. Their cookbook buyer has a wonderful blog so she definitely knows her stuff, and she's put some fabulous books (Le Pain QuotidianOttolenghi) on their shelves that I need to pick up as gifts for family and friends (and myself of course).

Dwellings in Falmouth, Maine
For the best hostess gifts I always stop by Dwellings in Falmouth and find the most charming things. With a well curated display of objects all around the store and chic accessories for the home (Simon Pierce glassware, Mariposa silver, Voluspa candles just to name a few brands), I never leave empty handed.

Even if you don't live within driving distance of these lovely local places, there are similar small businesses in your neighborhood that will appreciate your visit (and purchases) so much more than any website with a warehouse. It's the creativity and thoughtful selection of gifts that sets the local shops apart and make them worth your visit. Plus you can always head out for a refreshing cocktail afterwards, which is not something you can do while shopping online in your jammies

Maine has always had a very celebrated "buy local" culture, so much so that there is an official and state run website featuring Maine merchants. So even if you're "from away" you can still think local and add a little Maine to your holiday. Happy shopping!

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