By Bridget Huckabee for the SNAP
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 —
There’s no need to tell you what the big event is this weekend…at least that is if you stretch your weekend to include Monday and Tuesday, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. These last few days are sure to be filled with cooking, party preparations and last minute shopping. If there are still gifts to be bought there are plenty of locally owned shops to explore in and around our county. And these are places where you’re sure to find one-of-a-kind items to place under the tree.
A good place to start is the holiday craft show, From our Hands to Your House, at Falling Rivers Gallery on West Main Street, Albemarle, next door to Starnes Jewelers. The show runs through this Saturday. Here you’ll find booths offering unique one-of-a-kind objects perfect for gifts for your friends and relatives, or perhaps a gift just for yourself. Items include jewelry, holiday décor, cards, needlework, goat milk soap and beeswax candles, hand-painted scarves and pillows, functional pottery and much more. The Gallery itself is filled with art by local artists, so when you’ve checked out the Holiday Show take time to browse the permanent Gallery exhibit.
While you are downtown Albemarle, check out the many places to shop. Begin with the warm and welcoming coffee shop, Glory Beans, across the street from the Gallery where you can fuel up before you start and buy a gift card for the coffee enthusiast on your list. Opposite Glory Beans, Starnes window display is sure to get you in the holiday spirit and inside there are even more enticing gift items. Just down the road, Health Nutz offers many unusual ideas for presents, especially for those health nuts on your list. Need a Christmas cake? The Sweet Shop, tucked in the alley behind Starnes and the Falling Rivers Gallery is the place to go for cakes, cookies and lots of other baked goodies.
There are many more delightful shops in Albemarle and around the county, often tucked in to century old buildings, or in the quiet downtown area of a village, or even out in the country at a rural crossroads. Search them out. They are the backbone of our retail trade, offering items seldom found elsewhere, and what better Christmas present to give the community than to shop locally.
Finally, take time to make a tour of the Hospice of Stanly County Festival of Trees at Stanly Commons in Albemarle. Each year the Festival of Trees honors the memory of friends and loved ones no longer with us. Dedicated volunteers hand-craft uniquely designed angels to adorn the trees. This year’s Angel's can be purchased to help provide funds needed to support Hospice programs and services. The trees will stay up until December the 28th.
Stay tuned for all the events planned for Stanly County weekends throughout 2013. Meanwhile have a merry little Christmas and a happy New Year.