When it comes to buying gifts for friends and family during this merry time of year, it has become easy to mindlessly click a few buttons online and finish your shopping without leaving the house (or let’s face it—without even interacting with other humans).
But you don’t have to look far to find that the Monadnock Region makes shopping locally more fun, worthwhile, and even memorable. When you go to a village shop, local gallery, or nearby farm, you’re bound to stumble on a gift you never would have found anywhere else.
Instead of a generic present shipped by the thousands from some box store, the gifts you give will hold extra meaning because they were produced locally or perhaps even handmade. They were also handpicked by you and directly supported neighbors and friends in the area.
In fact, independent retailers from the Monadnock Region pour roughly $62 of every $100 spent at their businesses right back into the local economy (monadnocklocal.org). When that money recirculates, it allows the community to thrive and sustain so many of the places and programs that make the Monadnock Region one-of-a-kind.
So instead of clicking away in front of a screen, plan a shopping day with friends, grab some lunch at your favorite local eatery, and slow things down a bit. Enjoy your holiday shopping and make a memory of it instead of rushing from one task to the next. Here are some great opportunities to show your love for all things local:
A Feast of Local Fare
Each year, Stonewall Farm in Keene hosts two festive, cozy days of shopping, showcasing all things made locally. At the Thanksgiving Farm Fare on November 22 and 23, you can purchase pretty much any food needed for your Thanksgiving table and shake the hand of the farmer who produced it. At the same time, grab gifts for the season from dozens of local makers. Rich sauces, handmade jewelry, goat milk soaps, honey, and granola are just a few of the wonderful goodies you’ll find. Learn more at stonewallfarm.org/stonewall-farm-events.
Shop Local in Plaid!
Plaid Friday is the Monadnock Region’s distinctive way of celebrating the importance of local and independent businesses. It’s the perfect alternative to the “Black Friday” consumer craze. The name Plaid Friday comes from the concept of weaving the individual threads of small businesses together to create a strong fabric that highlights the diversity and creativity of independent businesses.
On November 29th, countless local businesses in the region will be brimming with sales, and just about everyone you meet will be wearing plaid as a pledge to buy local. You can join in, too! Put on your own plaid ensemble and get your picture taken at any of these locations where the Plaid Friday celebration will be underway:
Cheshire Horse (Swanzey)
Dragonfly Shop (Keene)
The Farm Café (Keene)
Hannah Grimes Marketplace (Keene)
Monadnock Food Co-op (Keene)
Mosiac Fiber Arts (Keene, Harrisville)
One Stop Country Pet Supply (Keene)
Mon Aime Fine Jewelry (Keene)
Toadstool Bookshops (Keene and Peterborough)
Find the full listing here: tlcmonadnock.com/plaidfriday/
And more unique shops here in the Monadnock Region: https://www.monadnocktravel.com/shop.html
Affordable Arts Fair
November 30 brings BROKE: Holiday Edition, the arts fair for everybody. Held from 10am – 4pm at the Peterborough Town Hall and entry is free to the public. Vendors display their work in many disciplines and all products are $50 or less.
That Warm, Holiday Feeling!
December 2nd is officially Cider Monday. Never heard of it? As opposed to Cyber Monday, Cider Monday takes things offline, encouraging folks to shop locally and take advantage of great holiday sales/specials.
Willard Williams, owner of the Toadstool Bookshops coined the term several years ago, and it’s been a hit ever since. Stop by any of the Toadstool’s three locations in Keene, Peterborough, or Milford for a warm cup of cider and get lost in the shop’s literary world. Skip the crashing websites and overloaded servers and replace it all with genuine human connection and excellent reading finds. Besides, who doesn’t love a good book for the holidays?
Although there are specific stores that participate in these two unique sale days, don’t limit your shopping to these stores alone! There are hundreds of local businesses around the region with treasures to offer for the holiday season, from clothing boutiques and gift stores to plant shops and local restaurants. Be sure to check out the small businesses in your hometown, too! They will be just as thrilled to see you as you are them.
This holiday season, let’s all focus on the cultivation of community and enjoy a stress-free, fun, and rewarding gift-buying experience. Happy shopping and happy holidays!