I love the holiday season. For me, it starts as soon as October rolls around. Halloween decorations go up, pumpkins are everywhere, and the air gets a chill. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s all lined up in a row makes it seem like there’s just one big, celebration for the last three months of the year. It creates such a good-time buzz. Of course, the best part is the shopping!
Every year I start my Christmas shopping in October. It helps me budget out the spending better and keeps me from having this crazy, last minute rush to find the perfect gift. The other advantage to shopping early, even while the Halloween decorations are still out in the shops, is that I can concentrate on shopping local. It can be easier to hit the big-box stores but those stores certainly don’t have the same appeal as the boutiques. Part of enjoying the holiday season buzz is seeing the decorations and finding that unique gift for someone. The local boutiques go out of their way to create a wonderful holiday shopping experience, and I plan to take full advantage of it.
There is something that truly wonderful about walking around Mariemont and seeing all of the beautiful fall foliage. Madeira lines Miami with trees lit by twinkle lights. Hyde Park shop windows are always decorated for the holidays. Main Street in Milford is a charming place to stroll and find special items at the antique shops. Oakley is always bustling with activity. There are wonderful places there to sit for a cup of hot tea or cocoa in the afternoon. Clifton, Over-the-Rhine, Mt. Adams, there are just so many great little, Cincinnati communities to shop in for the holidays (and the rest of the year!).
If you’re looking for the perfect toys for the kids, this year try Ted’s Toy Store in Madeira, King Arthur’s Court Toys in Oakley, The Blue Manatee in Oakley, Coolest Toys on Earth in Milford, and Toko Kidz in Clifton. (If you know of other cool places to toy shop leave them in the comments section below so other moms can check them out.)
This year, in the midst of all the holiday chaos, take some time with the family to visit several of Cincinnati’s wonderful communities. Shop, eat and attend the holiday events. Sip a cup of hot cocoa while you look at the holiday decorations. Doesn’t that sound a lot better than fighting the crowds at the mall?