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Eight Ways to Enjoy Black Friday at Local Merchants

Not a fan of braving the traffic and crowds the day after Thanksgiving at the malls just to get a deal on Black Friday? Then consider the plethora of wonderful opportunities to shop locally right here in Hamilton and Wenham.

Most local merchants will be open and ready to help with your Christmas shopping list not only on Friday, but also on Nov. 26 for the second annual American Express Small Business Saturday. This is one of the busiest holiday weekends and showing support for small businesses helps everyone. If you are not sure where to start, here are a few ideas offered by local businesses:

1. Free hot cider and a roaring fire at Hamilton Gardens

Family-owned  will be switching gears from Thanksgiving to Christmas decorations, taking holiday floral orders and offering various gifts.

“We’ll be dressed as elves on Friday,” quipped owner Stacy DeScenza.

Descenza says poinsettias in just about every variety are being delivered and will be ready for purchase on Friday along with greenings, berries, paper whites, and amaryllis bulbs for decorating the house. Back by popular demand will be the miniature winter gardens that may be custom ordered as well. Some great gift shop items include Slap watches, gardening books, candles and Christmas ornaments.

2. Viola Lovely’s owner says accessories are in for a cause

“We’ve been responding to customers by giving them more of what they want and it’s been a lot of fun,” says owner Lisa Cancelli.

The award-winning store is adorned with exclusive, custom-made items including multi-floral scarves made by Yigal Azrouel, exclusively for Viola Lovely. Another stocking stuffer is the Love Life Skincare line developed by local beauty industry expert Ranee Palone Flynn. Flynn- a cancer survivor - along with her team of oncologists originally helped develop the line for cancer patients who had undergone radiation and chemotherapy. The nice part about purchasing either of these items is that the gift keeps on giving. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. To-date, Canelli says $10,000 has been given in donations.

Another cause accessory is the popular Love Heals wrap bracelet which also can be worn as a necklace. For every purchase, Love Heals supports planting ten trees.

3. Novel ideas for kids at Banbury Cross Children’s Book Shop

has books for children from birth to young adults.  Here you will find books in hardcover or paperback, books on tape, book accessories and a helpful staff.

Miniature LED book lights, fun-colored pens, miniature notepads and mini-flip guides depicting wildflowers or various predator birds make great stocking stuffers. Several chapter and series books are available including the Dragonbreath fiction series by Ursula Vernon or the popular fiction series Warriors by Erin Hunter.

4. Sweets for the Sweet at Winfrey’s Chocolates

Christmas is not complete without chocolate and on Railroad Avenue in Hamilton or can help you out. Advent calendars, Crisp n’ Chewy and the Gold Cup Collection are real crowd pleasers.

5. Gifts of health and wellness abound for Men and Women at Marybeth’s.

Owners June Singer and Brenda Morrison suggest one of their Christmas specials, including a free hand paraffin treatment with the purchase of a manicure and pedicure gift combo or an IonCleanse footbath to clear all of those toxins out of the body after the holidays.

6. Connolly’s Pharmacy has gifts for him too.

Pleasant and curious sundries at await the shopper looking for a gift for dad, the hubby or even Uncle Milty. Pick up a Kent Comb for him. The combs are saw-cut and handmade - opposed to those made from injection molds which ruin the cuticle of the hair. Pair that up with a luxurious Mason Pearson hairbrush and a new copy of the book “Wenham” or “Hamilton,” both by local historian Annette Janes, and you’re good to go.

7. Let Grassy Roots help with the holiday cooking.

manager Alise Watson says they will gladly take your order for the holidays. A complete holiday menu is available and orders will be taken up until a week prior to the holiday. All meals are homemade and organic. Special considerations can be made for gluten-free, wheat-free and vegetarian diets upon request. All dressings are made from scratch too.

8. Restore a family heirloom with Allied Art Conservation.

Sometimes the gift of passing along a family treasure says it all. Art Conservation Technician Sarah Blanding and Art Conservator Timothy Neill offer free estimates and can help restore and clean paintings or refurbish frames, among other valued work.

Mary B. November 26, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Wenham Museum's gift shop is the best toy shop in town. All of the toys, books and gifts are carefully chosen and relate to the museum's collections, mission and special exhibits. You can find a variety of toy trains, train hats, train books, dolls, doll clothes, dollhouse accessories, Civil War hats, children's books, hand-hammered silver jewelry and more. Proceeds from the shop support the museum, a non-profit organization.

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