Small Town Christmas

November 21, 2012
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There will be all kinds of downtown celebrations in Hamilton County communities this weekend as they deck themselves out for the holidays and retailers vie with urban areas and the internet for local dollars.
Adirondack Christmas on Main Street, Friday through Sunday in Inlet, will feature a tree-lighting, a Holiday Dog Parade and Santa. Speculator has a "one night only" event Friday from 4 to 7 pm called the Holiday Stroll. There will be refreshments and product samples. The Indian Lake Country Christmas on Friday and Saturday, features 36 local artisans, crafters and retailers, at 24 different locations. It includes a "Gifts to Give" workshop for children. Wells will hold its annual craft fair, book sale and tree-lighting on Saturday.
Walking lighted downtown areas and catching up with friends and neighbors as you shop creates indelible memories. We'll hope for a light dusting of snow to complete the scene. Remember to take pictures of the kids as they grin up at the lighted municipal tree or talk earnestly to Santa.
If you absolutely can't find what you want this weekend, please continue to think local and look online for Adirondack Wild artisans and retailers. For custom-made knives of all kinds (particularly satisfying to anyone carrying a Y chromosome) visit the Chax Knives website. These are blades elevated to art form.
Woodworkers naturally gravitate to Hamilton County. A variety of Adirondack chairs and tables designed to grace decks and patios for years to come can be found at Charles Grover Woodworks. Chairs, tables, beds and dressers, available in white cedar, white pine and native cherry, are featured at Jerry's Wood Shop 
McComb's Oak Hill Farm makes maple products from its own sugarbush (yes, the farm has maple trees in addition to oaks). Here in the mountains, maple syrup joins hardwoods and softwoods as one of our cherished agricultural products.
If you want to satisfy a fascination with all things Adirondack, the Adirondack Reader is a wonderful resource for printed words and images. This store and on-line portal carries out-of-print books as well as current publications.
Wishing everyone a happy holiday season! Let's shop in our communities to assure that privilege into the future.

Ann Melious returned to the Adirondacks in 2011 as Director of Hamilton County Economic Development and Tourism. She shopped in the Hudson Valley for three years, but could never find what she wanted. While that was not the only reason she returned to the Adiorndacks, it was certainly a contributing factor.