Monthly Archives: December 2013

Blog Post Image - Shop Local Day for Businesses

Shop Local this Holiday Season

Whether you’ve been done with your holiday shopping for months, have just a few gifts left to buy or haven’t even started your shopping yet, it’s always a perfect time to add a few local items to the line-up of gifts you will be giving this year.


Shopping local this holiday seasons means you’ll find something for everyone on your list and support local businesses at the same time. Gift possibilities ranging from jewelry to flowers to food to clothes – and that’s only the beginning. Below you’ll find a list of retailers that are just a stone’s throw away.


Gloucester County

Massage Movement and Therapy (Website)
Oasis Books (Website)


Greater Williamsburg

Schmidt’s Flowers & Accessories (Website)
Williamsburg Winery (Website)


Lancaster County

Bay & River Home Décor (Facebook page)
Country Cottage (Website)


Mathews County

Dilly Dally Emporium (Facebook page)
Tatterson Greenhouses (Website)


Middlesex County

River Birch Gifts (Facebook page)
Wilton Cottage & Garden (Website)


For a list of additional merchants, check out the blog. Even though Shop Local Day is over, some of the merchants have offers good through the end of the year!


What local presents are you giving this year? Tell us about them in the comments below!


Holiday Hosting Tips

It’s the holiday season once again, and this year, thanks to Thanksgivukkah, it seems as if the pressure is on. Whether it’s a family dinner or a more causal holiday celebration, be sure to celebrate, not commiserate the occasion.


It may be obvious, but according to HGTV,  when it comes to hosting the perfect holiday gathering, plan ahead and create to-do lists to keep you organized. You don’t have to do everything the day of a holiday gathering. Prepare dishes in advance and delegate tasks to other family members and friends. Also along the lines of preparedness, anticipate needs that may come up during the party and be ready for them (like having extra toilet paper in bathrooms and having trash bags ready to go).


Entertaining doesn’t have to break the bank. When it comes to the bar, have a simple selection of beer and wine, but decide on a signature cocktail and have it mixed up and ready to serve. This eliminates the need for having several spirits and mixers on hand. You can also cut costs by shopping smartly for décor. Just because there is a holiday theme, you don’t need to buy the holiday-specific décor. Instead of heading to the aisle that has holiday materials, head to the general section and get solid colors, which are sometimes cheaper than marked up holiday items.


Is the party over, but people are still hanging out? Ease them out the door by breaking out coffee and tea. Hopefully the end of the night beverages will cue them to head home.


What are some of your tips for holiday hosting success?

Coats for Christmas

Coats for Christmas

What could be better than giving the gift of warmth this holiday season? Our Mathews branch, with the help of our employees and customers, collected 115 children and adult-sized coats which were donated to Mathews Social Services.


“The Mathews community is a generous community,” said Sandra Hauser, Assistant Branch Manager in Mathews. “When you express a need, they always come through.”


It’s never too late to give back. If you’re in Mathews and would still like to help Mathews Social Services, drop off some food to help stock the shelves of their food pantry. This is a year-round need that is in high demand this time of year. Food can be dropped off at Mathews Social Services, which is located at 536 Church Street between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The food pantry not only helps those who qualify but also those who may have a short term need or are just over the threshold of qualifying for food stamps.


If you’re outside of Mathews, whatever organization is close to your heart, give them a ring this season to see what’s on their urgent needs list. A little gift can go a long way.