Hello my Foodie Friends!
When I was a young boy the holiday season was my families’ favorite time of year. Of course my parents used it to its full potential to keep three boys and two girls in line. Our biggest thrill was the chance to go downtown and peek into the store front windows seeing the latest toys and letting Santa, Mom, and Dad know what we wanted under the tree. For myself and my brothers, it was especially hard to refrain from becoming the Three Stooges avoiding our usual antics and teasing of each other. If we didn’t get along then we risked getting nothing and my Dad was a man of his word. We also loved this time of year because Mom and Dad became a dynamic team and focused on our happiness instead of the day-to-day problems they faced with finance issues that were typical of the middle class back then. It seemed like Mom and Dad knew every shop owner by their first name and all the shop personnel always fussed over their children. Shopping downtown was a magical event for us. The snow covered trees, merchant’s store fronts decorated with animated figures, holiday lights, decorations, and music. Each of us would run free to pursue the treasures that we wanted from Santa. We loved every store. For us a clothing store was a place that kept us from the toys. However, the clothing store mom loved was located on the top floor of one of the downtown buildings and you needed an elevator to get to it. An ELEVATOR!!! Do any of you remember what the older style elevators were like? It was like a carnival ride. It even had an elevator operator (what I wanted to be when I grew up). Several of our downtown buildings in Saratoga Springs still have the old style elevators. At the end of our shopping day, we would have a wonderful meal as a family, sitting exhausted filled with memories that would last a lifetime.
Consider shopping local this season. Shopping locally helps you connect with the people in your community and learn more about what is going on around you. When people come in my store during the holidays, they call out to me and exclaim: “Hello Mr. Reardon! We are some of your Foodie Friends!” Economically, spending money locally gives back to the community. Why not make holiday shopping a family event? Shopping should be an enjoyable experience with interactions that leave us feeling good versus feeling like we have to do a chore. I find that’s far more likely to happen when I’m patronizing local independent businesses. Learn and experience product quality and durability, getting expert advice without having to waste time doing your own research. Aside from the experience, physical contact with an item makes people feel more certain about a purchase decision. When you go to a store, you know what you’re getting. The price is there. There’s no shipping fee. You can see the item, hold the item, and get the instant gratification you desire from buying the item. Savor the sights, sounds and smells of the season while shopping. During the holidays the shops are filled with festive decorations, sounds and smells. When you step through the doors and hear “Jingle Bells” or “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” playing throughout the store, you can’t help singing along as you walk around.
Another great experience of shopping in your local shops is to spend time out shopping with the family. Your holiday tradition may involve shopping with your children, your spouse, or your friends. This holiday season, visit our beautiful city of Saratoga Springs and all of the unique shops within the city for those special treasures. Make it an event where you actually spend time with people (and not the computer) to select those special gifts to give.
Having the right tools to prepare your recipe is the key to making a pretty good dinner a great one. It’s much easier to cook when you are equipped with high-quality utensils that make your job as fun and easy as possible.
Paula and I look forward to the holidays every year with our children. Cherish your moments together and stop by and fulfill your holiday culinary needs. At Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store, we have really cool tools for your favorite foodie. We are located of 33 Railroad Place, Saratoga Springs. This holiday season, shop local and nab those ideal gifts for the ones you love. Remember my Foodie Friends, “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”
Take Care, John & Paula