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Monday, December 1, 2014

Beacon Bits -- "Buy-In" Beacon

If you missed Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, don't panic; everyday can be "Buy-In Beacon" Day -- be it for the holidays or for all the other gift giving occasions throughout the year.

Here's my top ten reasons to shop in Beacon

10.  One of a kind handmade gifts (and a skein or two of yarn) at Clay Wood and Cotton  .........

(And for handmade, don't forget all the pop-up stores around town, and scheduled workshops to make your own gifts at Jessica Wickham's wood studio during the weekend of December 6th and 7th and blowing glass ornaments at Hudson Beacon Glass throughout the month of December and D-I-Y workshops at Nixie Sparrow.)


9.  Warm clothes and boots suited for cold weather and outdoor sports at Mountain Tops Outfitters........

8.  The best of the valley's arts and crafts at Riverwinds Gallery........

7.  The best wine and spirits selection with expert advice about food pairings at Artisan Wine Shop..........

6.  Thoughtful treats and toys for all the furry, four-legged friends in your life at Beacon Barkery........

5.  A unique book about hiking, kayaking or local history throughout the Hudson Valley or a monetary donation for all the wonderful 'free' programming in honor of that special someone on your shopping list who already has everything they need at Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries........


4.  Seasonal plants, festive bouquets or floral home decorations at La Bella Rosa........

3.  A wide selection of gourmet gadgets and kitchenware at Utensil........


2.  Whatever you find (or smell or taste) that you may not have been looking for but that you find intriguing at Heart and Soul........


1.  Something elegant, fashion forward, artistic and custom made for your home or to wear as your signature garment or accessory at Gwenno James........


I bemoaned the fact that another one of my favorites, an iconic hat store -- Jaqueline's --could not make the list this year because it just closed. However, there may be more to report about what this talented creator and purveyor of hats will be planning for the future.



Most important, in the midst of all this shopping, I'd be remiss not to mention Giving Tuesday. While there are a multitude of nonprofits worthy of your donation in Beacon (see my previous blog about becoming a friend of our local organizations), this year I'd like to draw attention to a program taking place at Beacon's two local prisons--Downstate Correctional Facility and Fishkill Correctional Facility--(as well as four other prisons) called Puppies Behind Bars (PBB.) Inmates are trained to train Labrador retrievers to become service dogs for the disabled, those who are blind or for veterans healing from physical and emotional wounds. In addition to the staff for the non-for-profit PBB and the inmates, volunteers from neighboring towns are trained to become puppy sitters who socialize the pups in the community. Read more about this 16 year old program to find out why it is so deserving of recognition as a highly effective, win-win proposition for the rehabilitation of inmates, for the ultimate recipients of the dogs when they are placed in homes, and for those who volunteer to help raise loving companions. Consider giving a donation--or learning about how to become a puppy sitter--it will truly be a gift that keeps giving.

Food for thought:  It's all in the giving. Generosity and altruism are gifts of and for the spirit. So when you are in search of the gifts with monetary value, feed yourself with pleasurable pursuits and worthy causes. You will be giving a gift to yourself as you support local business, meet and greet proprietor-friends, and revel in the assortment of beautiful opportunities that Beacon has to offer.



As you shop, remember to feed your body as well. Make time for a snack or meal at  
Beacon Bread Company, Tito Santana, Beacon Pantry, 
Homespun, Poppy's, Bank Square, Ella Bella's and Beacon Bagels.

And if you need a place to spend an overnight, call ahead for a room at Botsford Briar Bed & Breakfast!


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