- Let's buy at least one present from a local merchant (Chelsea Standard, 12/13/07)
Local Toy Stores
Much as I'd love to buy handmade and locally produced items for all my gift giving, you just can't get around the fact that kids are going want toys from Nintendo, Hasbro, Disney and Mattel. But here are some helpful tidbits.
- Our local Pamida has a pretty good selection of toys. They also participate in local events like Hometown Holidays, and support Chelsea organizations through donations and sponsorships.
- If you can't find what you need here in town, Meijer is a Michigan based company who gives back the local communities in many ways, including the Rewards Program in which most Chelsea schools participate.
- Of course, at risk of repeating myself, if you don't have to buy the kids in your life an electronic toy or action figure, make your first stop at Cranesbill Books. I can't say enough good things about the high quality and creative selection of toys and games to be found there. As I've said before, their brilliant decision to start carrying toys last year has saved me countless trips to Ann Arbor or Jackson for toy shopping.
I was pondering the concept of shopping locally as I shopped online this morning. "Huh?" you may say. Well, I was searching for a gift basket to be delivered out of the country. Rather than paying extra shipping charges, dealing with international customs, etc., I searched for a local company in *their* town who can deliver something good. I thought it would be a nice gesture to help support my loved one's own community. But the key to this being a successful transaction is the local small businesses must have an internet presence. As a website designer in my own small town, I feel strongly that *every* business needs to be on the web, whether it is a comprehensive directory listing, a small website, or a full fledged e-commerce experience. I'd venture to guess that anyone who is reading my blog probably uses Google a whole lot more often than they look in the phone book.
I'll spare you the plug for my own website design business, but I will take the opportunity to mention that the new Chelsea e-Directory will be launched in a few days. It will include every business in Chelsea who wishes to be included (for free!) and provide users comprehensive listings by category and searchable by key word. This directory will make it even easier for people to plan their shopping trip in Chelsea, or find a place to eat while they are in town. Oh, and also help you find an accountant, plumber, bank or local park... but that is a topic for another day. (Let me if you want to learn more, otherwise watch for the announcement on the front page of www.chelsea-mi.com)
Chelsea shoppers are also very lucky to have the option to purchase Chelsea Cash gift certificates. I'm always surprised to hear that people don't know about these. You can buy them in any amount and use them at tons of places around town. They can be bought online or at the Chamber of Commerce office, which is in the Clocktower.
More Information and Holiday Links
- Shopping Local in Chelsea, Michigan 2005
- Shopping Local in Chelsea, Michigan 2006
- Shopping Local in Chelsea, Michigan 2007
- Also of interest: Christmas Tree Shopping in the Chelsea Area
- List of Places To Worship in Chelsea, MI - for those seeking a church to attend Christmas services. For other denominations, you may have to expand your search to the rest of Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor, Dexter, Saline and surrounding areas. If you're coming from out of town, I'm happy to help you find what you're looking for. Just ask!