While walking along Montclair’s streets yesterday morning, they seemed a bit empty for Black Friday. Were villagers away, buying electronics elsewhere, or otherwise descending on the bigger mall stores?
On Thursday, December 4th, the Montclair Village Association has organized the Annual Holiday Stroll from 6pm-9pm – and made sure there’s no rain this year! There will be plenty of Santa cheer and live musical groups sprinkled through the streets. Several stores are throwing parties with their own refreshments and entertainment too.
As you know, the Montclair merchants would like to encourage holiday shopping in town. You don’t have to wrestle with the huge parking headaches or interminable lines, a big plus. Here are some tried-and-true gifts:
- Calendars: Pick up a monthly or daily calendar from either Annie’s Hallmark (map) or A Great Good Place for Books (map, site) for finicky teens. The bookstore offers a 20% discount on calendars now.
- Wool Hats & Gloves: For women or girls, there are fun gloves and hats with fringes, and other nice woolens stocked at Montclair Sporting Goods (map) this time of year.
- Kitchen Gadgets: Most people don’t indulge often, and might welcome a new item or two at Someone’s In The Kitchen (map). Who cares if the recipients cook when the gadget looks nice?
- Chocolates: You have no idea? Get that difficult great-aunt some nicely packaged sweets from Le Bon Bon (map) or XOX Truffles (map, site). Also works as an extra for your beloved chocoholics, of course.
- Bicycle, Bicycle: This is classic gift for kids or adults, and you can’t do better in the Bay Area than Wheels of Justice Cyclery (map, site). It’s not that intimidating to go there, either.
- Baby Stuff: The Tulip Grove (map, site) is the new go-to spot, which opened this year. A Little Piece of Heaven (map) has infant and kids wear. The shopkeepers really guide you to a nice gift.
- Toys: If you need a quick toy for a tot, then head over to Montclair Toyhouse (map).
- Pet Obsessed: For beloved parents of dogs and cats, Glamour Paws (map, site) has fun items to pamper the beasts. The interesting bowls and toys grab my attention every time I walk by.
- Wine Everywhere: The perfect, last-minute gift to bring to your holiday host is vino. Without playing favorites, head to Crown (map), Montclair Village Wines (map), or newcomer Farmstead (map, site)
- Cameras: Maybe you should buy a digital camera this year. You can get live advice and shop smarter at Sarber’s Camera (map, site), rather than drive directly to a big box.
- All Else Fails: Head up the hill to McCalou’s department store (map, site). There must be some classic item there you can check off your list. Or check out many great shops here.
Why boost Montclair? In these economic times, it makes sense to pursue bargains anywhere. I’m sure you will battle lines for “just the right thing” or find other items online. It’s easy to forget the Village options during the holiday hunt.
However, you really should take a spin around the Village and invest some shekels now. While local businesses don’t have the clout of national chain stores, they make up the Montclair zeitgeist. If you buy a few things, then you support the local merchants and ensure their survival too.
Yes, this season is about giving and receiving gifts.