It’s already looking a lot like Christmas at area businesses.
Last weekend was the first Classic Christmas weekend, and with temperatures in the 50s, shoppers were out in full force to get a jump on their holiday shopping.
And, businesses in “Waupaca, King and In Between” have plenty of ideas and deals for them.
“I think there’s a lot of fun things hiding around Waupaca, and people need to come downtown to support their local businesses,” said Jayne Jansen, owner of Firefly. “There’s lots of hidden treasures downtown. Come discover what Waupaca has to offer. There’s lots of creativity. Everybody is trying to carry something different.”
Downtown businesses, along with those in King and others in between the two retail areas, will have two more Classic Christmas weekends – Nov. 23-25 and Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
This weekend’s Classic Christmas celebration includes Black Friday and Small Business Saturday – two days area retailers encourage people to shop locally.
“We are always promoting shop local. This is the one day the whole country is talking about how important it is to shop local and support your communities,” said Anita Olson, owner of Embellishments.
Some of her customers do their entire Christmas shopping locally.
“We’re in the community. We care about the community. We want the community to care us about, too,” Olson said.
In King and in Waupaca, a total of 45 businesses are participating in Classic Christmas.
That list includes retailers and restaurants.
During Classic Christmas weekends, those who bring canned food donations for the Waupaca Area Food Pantry are eligible to enter the drawings for gift baskets at the participating merchants.
Each business will draw its winner on Monday, Dec. 3.
The Feminine Touch was full of shoppers on Saturday, Nov. 17.
“We all work so hard with our small businesses. It’s a pleasure to have so many local and out-of-town customers support us. We are appreciative of them,” said store owner Mary Jo Shambeau.
She is among those who decided to have their businesses open on Sundays during the Classic Christmas weekends.
“We’re trying to remind people this is special. We will continue with if it works,” she said.
At the Feminine Touch, there are many affordable stocking stuffers, as well as Brighton jewelry, adorable headbands and felt pins, Shambeau said.
Shambeau and Laurie Wagner, along with Tony Wagner, even made Marguerite, the mannequin, look like a Christmas tree.
Local businesses offer hands-on customer service, and Shambeau reminds those who are shopping to buy a little something for themselves, too.
Shops in downtown Waupaca and in King will help people with their shopping lists, whether they are searching for gifts for children, teens or adults.
At Dragonwings Bookstore, store owner Ellen Davis points out Thames and Kosmos science kits.
They arrived last week and are available in two age categories.
Her store also puppets, puzzles and books for all ages.
She still has signed copies of Eric Litwin’s Pete the Cat Saves Christmas. Litwin was in Waupaca as part of this year’s book festival.
Also new at Dragonwings are the Kobo eReaders Koboglo and Kobomini.
“To introduce them to our customers, the mini will be available Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24 at a special price that is $30 off the regular price,” Davis said.
She said Kobo is the most popular eReader in the rest of the world and is now moving into the United States.
The special Black Friday and Small Business Saturday deal is through independent bookstores, she said.
Dragonwings also offers eBooks through its website.
At Lucky Tree, Tim and Michelle Drake are also ready for the holidays.
She said magnetic memo boards and frames are popular.
“You can change it with the season. It’s a great gift,” Michelle said.
They also brought products made by a Wisconsin potter into their store and continue to carry soap made in the state and sweet treats made by Amanda Cupcake.
“Since this is our second Christmas, we really looked at what folks were interested in and the price range and tried to bring in a lot of great gift ideas,” Michelle said.