How to give two gifts with one purchase
The close of the kitchen door after the last Thanksgiving dishes are washed and put away is traditionally the starter's gun for a marathon of holiday shopping. Every retailer has been gearing up for just this moment. Including some non-traditional sources of gift-giving inspiration. Here are just a few--every area has many additional possibilities for giving and getting. Hint: they don't involve your computer or phone!
The gift shop at the Schuyler County Historical Society, 108 N. Catharine St., Montour Falls, is bourgeoning with new additions from books, to intricately hand-crafted cutting boards, to vintage-looking shawls, quilted things and embroidery among other items of traditional crafts. "It not only raises funds but brings people in," says Museum Director Glenda Gephart. "It's a great supplement to the generosity of members and donors." The historical society is also raffling off a coffee table made by woodworker David Lisk. The table top is a traditional "tumbling block" quilt design inlaid in four different varieties of wood. Tickets may be purchased at the museum, or email email@example.com. The winner will be chosen on Dec. 4. For more information, call 607-535-9741.
The Schuyler County Humane Society offers a 25 percent discount on purchases at their Wags to Riches upscale resale shop, 313 N. Franklin St. on Saturday, Nov. 26. Then in the first part of December, adoption fees for cats and dogs will be lowered to $50 through Dec. 11. That's just in time for Santa's return from the North Pole, for pet photos with Santa on Dec. 3. For a $10 donation, your pet receives a photo to include with its holiday cards--or yours. Volunteers are also supplying treats for pets and their humans. Find more information on their Facebook page or call 607-594-2255 for more information.
The holiday season is already beginning at the Schuyler Hospital gift shop (open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily). In December they're having a clearance sale as well as a raffle for two $200 gas cards. Their annual "Cookies by the Pound" sale begins Friday, Dec. 16 from 7 a.m. until it's sold out. "It's what we do to raise money for scholarships," says Kitty Shallenberger, president of the Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary. She was baking cookies as she talked. The group also asks hospital departments for an annual wish list every year, "For something they may need that isn't in the hospital budget." Shallenberger says the group tries to fulfill as many of those wishes as funds permit. Cookies may be pre-ordered until Dec. 15--many choose assortments--at 607-535-7121, ask for the gift shop.
Shelter of Hope, the Yates County Humane Society, is hosting a "Kids and Critters" event on Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Keuka Candy Emporium (131 Main St., Penn Yan) where children, optionally accompanied by a pet, can meet Santa and have their photo taken. Karen Castner, who serves as treasurer, board member and also as a volunteer, says the group will also have a bake sale at that time, as well as pet-related items for sale.
Additionally, beginning Nov. 30, the group is hosting an online "Paw Auction" on their website, yateshumane.org with more than 200 items to bid on. Bidders and winners do not need to live in Yates County. For more information, check their website or call 315-536-6094.
Volunteers at the Friendship House (5614 Williams St., Middlesex, NY 14507), a food pantry and thrift store, transform into E.L.F.s (Extraordinary League of Friends) to help children shop for two loved ones on Santa Sunday, Nov. 27. A "shopper elf" accompanies each child while their parent waits outside, says Cathy Guattery. Then a "wrapper elf" gift-wraps and tags the result. Because youngsters might feel it's just as much fun to receive as give, each child visits Santa, has their picture taken and enjoys cookies and some small gifts of their own. The cost is $2 per child; some scholarships are available. Sign up online (friendshiphousemiddlesex.com) or at the Friendship House for a time slot. For more information, call them at 585-554-6056.
Other events throughout the region during the holiday season benefit food pantries, Christmas gifts for youngsters, seniors and shut-ins, via many agencies benefitting the community. Post-COVID, the needs of individuals as well as groups providing community services are greater than pre-pandemic. Watch the paper and community social media for announcements of pop-ups and other programs. Or give yourself the gift of feeling generous in a year-end contribution to your favorite local charities.