Holiday season off to bustling start

November 28, 2012 01:47 pm
On Saturday morning a college friend posted, “I told my husband it is my civic duty to shop today,” to which I replied, “It is my civic duty to watch football today.”

The Thanksgiving weekend is different things to different people — whether it’s feasting with friends, walks in the woods, getting that last load of wood or doing a home winterizing project. It’s four days before the full-court press of the holidays.

Like we didn’t have enough going on, the weekend also got stuffed with football and an artificial start to the Christmas shopping season.

I used to love shopping. Living in small towns, a trip to the big city of Eugene or Olympia usually meant a trip to THE MALL. Oh, joy! I made such a sport out of it and by the time I was a senior in high school I declared shopping my hobby. However, I knew my expendable income was coming to a stop soon with tuition bills looming the next four years.

That Christmas I lavished my family with gifts I would not be able to afford for years to come.

All these years in the outback, a trip to a mall is a bit overwhelming. On a recent venture to get socks at a mall in Portland, I was awestruck by the bounty. Of course I didn’t get out of there with just the socks. That was two weeks ago, before the fervid burst of shopping the media says is now upon us.

Black Friday means nothing in Wallowa County, we would have to travel to participate in that holiday, but Small Business Saturday is something to which we can all relate.

Civil War erupts

But that was the day of the Civil War. Eh, hem.

I was tickled to hear the announcer explain that once, long ago, the Civil War was the only game that mattered to these two schools who could barely even beat each other. One year, they couldn’t even do that and the game ended in a tie.

But for more than a decade both teams are usually listed in the pre-season Top 25. I’m still not used to it and it’s so much fun.

I didn’t go to a school with a football team so I’ve adopted our home teams and a few others around the country that have interesting football programs. Even the unranked Vols will get my attention in an SEC game.

By Monday, after a weekend of food, football and lolling, I was finally ready to shop, so I visited the Soroptimist Thrift Shop — a treasure trove of bounty, Wallowa County style. It’s a good place to start holiday shopping for decorating and wrapping odds and ends and the occasional stocking stuffer. The sign at the door, “Only 6 more shopping days until Christmas,” gives one a sense of urgency.

In the next few weeks, shops and organizations are providing ample opportunity to shop locally while finding good deals.

This coming weekend, the ski and skate swap is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. upstairs from the Soroptimist shop in the IOOF Hall on Northeast First Street in Enterprise. Stage One, around the corner on Main Street, hosts a flea market Saturday at 9 a.m.

Both Friday and Saturday the Handcrafters Guild has its bazaar at the Wallowa County Fairgrounds’ Cloverleaf Hall and the Jingle Through Joseph Bazaar is at the Joseph Community Center — both starting at 9 a.m.

Dec. 7 and 8 Enterprise celebrates Winterfest with shopping, music and the lights parade Saturday night.

Most of the county’s shops host their own holiday open houses. Check with your favorite merchant for date and time.

And for the non-shopper? Pick up Buckskin Bucks from the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce — scrip accepted at almost 50 businesses county-wide.

By the time the Ducks and Beavers play their respective bowl games, the shopping will be over and another feast’s leftovers will be in the refrigerator. In the ensuing weeks, enjoy the bustle.


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