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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Last Minute Shopping!

You know I like to shop local and I did this year, more than ever. I shunned the big box stores in favor of Creative Kids and Be Beep, which now carries Legos (Hooray!) Someone on my list got a fab pair of kicks from Sophie Shoes in Five Points, where all shoes are 40% off for the rest of the month. Someone else is getting a membership to the Columbia Film Society and a gift certificate to the best brew pub evah', the Hunter Gatherer. Someone is getting something big from Outspokin'. I had a few things left to buy, none of which could be found locally. What's a socially conscious gal to do? Never one to back down from a shopping challenge, I called a babysitter*, wracked my brain and came up with a solution. There was a way I could get stuff from big chains while supporting local business and avoiding the mall. And it would be fun. All I needed was a laptop and a babysitter. Piece of cake.

I went to Adriana's (free Wi-Fi!) in Five Points to finish my shopping, eat a delicious lunch and check out local celebrities. I settled into a booth and turned on the laptop. I ordered from Brooks Brothers, Anthropologie, the Apple Store and Nordstrom. By the way, if anyone wants to open a store that has big boy clothes (size 8-16) that are cool (not just preppy stuff for church), that would be great. I would gladly shop there instead of Nordstrom. Just sayin'. By the way, I had the M's Spinach Salad for lunch. I try to order something different once in a while, but that salad is just perfect. I think I'll shop at Adriana's every year, so relaxing! Afterwards, I headed up Devine Street to Little Lambs and Ivy, a new-to-Columbia children's store for a gift certificate.

Gift certificates are an obvious eleventh hour choice, but you should also consider donating to charity in someone's honor. That's a gift that most (adults) are thrilled to get. Unless they're not thrilled, then it's an excellent choice if you want to be passive aggressive. And the recipient can't complain, so it's a perfect choice. My sister M, who I now know is a diabolical genius, took it a step further. My husband and I are in possession of a relative, who shall remain nameless, who once suggested that a large, flat-screen television would be a nice gift for us to give her. Now, we don't own a television ourselves, so it was a bit of an odd request, and, oh yeah, we don't actually spend that much on gifts. M said that we should buy the television and donate it to the Children's the relative's name. Brilliant, just brilliant, and almost worth the expense.

So, my shopping is done and I'm looking forward to a nice day with my family. We're headed to lunch at Al Amir. It's one of our favorite places and, unfortunately for us, they're closing this branch. They'll still be in Irmo and I'm sure we'll make the trek once in a while. After that, we'll be putting up decorations at the house, so come by and see us!

Namasté, y'all!

P.S. Another excellent, local gift is anything from Caw Caw Creek Farms. My husband gave one of our friends a leg of Emile's Country Prosciutto, hoof and all. Pretty cool, huh? If you don't have the stomach for that, Emile has many other fine products that aren't quite as intimidating. I don't know if he can hook you up at the last minute, but it's worth a try.

* The babysitter is key. When you're trying to make a plan, always call the babysitter first. The babysitter is essential; without her, the plan falls apart. Plus, you're hiring someone local and that's a good thing!

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