Miss the boat on early shopping this holiday season?
Local merchants are still busily servicing people from around the area, and noticing increased traffic as the holidays approach. DiLego's Jewelry on Ashland Street in North Adams could be the right place to stop for a personalized gift, as owner Cindy Lamore says Reflection customizable bracelets are very popular this year. The buyer chooses the design and particular beads, and the finished product runs anywhere from $18 to hundreds of dollars, making the bracelets a good potential gift for anyone.
"We are finding that a lot more people are shopping local this year," said Lamore. "And that's always appreciated."
The store also features necklaces, earrings, rings and other items from the Cape Cod Jewelry Company. Dads aren't excluded from the offerings either, as DiLego stocks sports team-themed mugs, and stainless- steel bracelets, both popular items for men.
It would be difficult to find anyone busier at this time of year than David Nicholas, owner of Bounti-Fare Restaurant and Catering in Adams. The restaurant has been hosting an endless string of parties that show no sign of letting up, and will only be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Despite this, Nicholas has taken it upon himself to be one of the sole bastions of the truly last-minute gift shopper: He will be at the restaurant until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve selling gift certificates.
"I don't think we've stopped for two weeks, and we won't be stopping for the next two weeks either, but I'll be here Christmas Eve," Nicholas said.
For bigger puchases in Adams, Simmons Furniture Inc. is offering a discount for customers who purchase two recliners, and competitive prices for curios and grandfather clocks. Also, with the holidays comes huge Serta giveaways for iComfort mattresses.
"This year, we've been working with local artists and artisans to bring in home-made household accessories, framed fabrics and handcrafted items," said General Manager Donna Riley.
Atef Bolos, of Atef's Fine Jewelry on Main Street in North Adams, claims he cannot be beaten in terms of price.
"Because of the holidays, we give the best deal," Bolos said. "Go check around and then come back to me. My customers know."
Atef's offers sapphires, emeralds, rubies, diamonds, gold, engagement rings, earrings, pendants, and necklaces at prices Bolos says are all below retail. Bolos also makes his own jewelry by design.
A little farther down Main Street, shoppers can find one-of-a-kind items every day at Massachusetts College of Liberal Art's Gallery 51 Art Mall, which will be open until Dec. 31. Decorated handbags, pins, shirts and artwork are available at the gallery. "Buy local!" said Jonathan Secor, director of special programs at MCLA. "I think one can do quite well buying arts, crafts, and locally made items within a four-block radius of Main Street."
Next door at North Adams Artists' Co-Op Gallery, art can be purchased at anywhere from $15 to $1,500, and shoppers are encouraged to find their own price range.
For holiday greetings, PRESS Gallery on Main Street has custom printed greeting cards and holiday tags.
An assortment of custom fabrics and other creative designs are available at Martha Flood Design on Eagle Street.
Throw Mass MoCA's excellent gift shop into the mix, and local shoppers should find much to please, and surprise, them this holiday season.
To reach Phil Demers, email firstname.lastname@example.org.