Countdown to Christmas…

Holidays in Lorain County

Twas the month before Christmas and all through the house, everyone was stirring, even the mouse! There’s so much to do, presents to buy, cookies to bake, cards to send out and trees to decorate! In fact, there’s way more to be done than the average holiday, so let’s cut to the chase and get things underway…

First on our list that doesn’t pale, is some much needed and very appreciated, “holiday ale!”

So, call up your family and friends (and a designated driver if needed) and enjoy the brews of the season at some of Lorain County’s most popular eateries… in fact, Great Lakes famous Christmas Ale is now on tap, along with several other specialty holiday ales at:  Jackalope Lakeside in Lorain;  Churchstreet Bar and Grille and Cork’s and Stubby’s in Amherst; Quaker Steak and Lube in Sheffield Lake; The Feve and Oberlin Inn in Oberlin, Nemo’s Grille in Avon and Moss’s Prime Rib and Spaghetti House and Smitty’s in Elyria.

But if you’re more into wine, then you’ll want your sleigh to stop by Paper Moon Vineyards for some homegrown wines and live entertainment, on both Friday and Saturday nights in December, from 6-9pm (until Christmas Eve). They even feature an outdoor heated patio for guests so no need to fret over snow! After all, Benjamin Franklin is the one who said, “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, fewer tensions and more tolerance.” So be sure to check out some other vineyards including Matus Winery in Wakeman with fire pits, and D and D Smith Winery  who offers free Wi-Fi (for sending those Christmas ecards) in Norwalk. In fact, many of these wine-makers, including Heineman’s Winery on Put-in-Bay also offer an amazing selection of wines for purchase online, making holiday gift-giving much more palatable when you need to send something special to your great uncle in Florida!

Amherst Historical Society’s Christmas in the Village

If you truly enjoy sampling the tastes of the holiday season, then be sure to check out Amherst’s Christmas Village, sponsored by the Amherst Historical Society. On December 1 and 2 from 2–4pm, you and your entire family can enjoy the sights and delicious smells of Christmas past – 1800s style! Even Santa will be on hand so be sure to bring plenty of film for those cute Facebook photo ops! There’s also fabulous bakery from gingerbread cookies to pies on sale, so be sure to bring some “extra dough” and stock up on holiday treats for your kids and house guests. From 4–5pm there will even be Christmas Caroling in St. George’s Chapel so feel free to bring your own American Idol voice and sing along!

And, since holiday shopping can be awfully stressful at times then you may need to take a quick break. Feel free to take some time out just for yourself and enjoy a well-earned massage at Kneaded Touch Massage  in Amherst. Literally, reduce your anxiety levels by volumes this holiday season and improve your overall energy too by having an hour long massage. Honestly, you’ll leave feeling much more relaxed, refreshed and renewed as you embark on the rest of your “holiday to-do list!” And don’t forget, they also offer gift certificate specials that make great stocking stuffers!

Jamie’s Flea Market in South Amherst

Speaking of to-do’s! You may want to make some unique purchases at Jamie’s Flea Market, the largest flea market in Northern Ohio, where hundreds of vendors gather every Wednesday and Saturday from 8am–4pm to display thousands of collectibles. Vendors feature one-of-a-kinds (crafty and homemade wares) and vintage and antique collectibles at rock-bottom prices, even seasonal produce is available for holiday entertaining. So, for that aunt who has everything, this is the perfect solution for solving that holiday gift-giving crisis. Besides, admission is free and with over 200 vendors weekly, you’re bound to find something on your list, even if it’s something for yourself!

And most importantly to mention as we jet-start the Christmas shopping season, is that between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide. Saturday, November 24 is now known as Small Business Saturday® and last year, over one hundred million people came together to “Shop Small”  in their communities…. Main Street Amherst is one of those communities rallying support with over 25 businesses, restaurants and shops that are extending their hours this holiday season to give you more time to shop local!  Download your shopping guide and map and head to downtown Amherst on Thursday evenings till 8pm and Sundays from 12–5pm.  You’ll  be sure to find unique and treasured items for everyone on your list!

So, if it’s shopping, eating or enjoying a night out with friends, be sure to embrace Lorain County small businesses this holiday season…until we meet again!

posted by lorain at 4:04 pm

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