Letter from our Editor

Holiday Shopping

Shopping local is a gift

Holiday shopping
It's the thought that counts.

Time seems to be moving quickly this year. The moment the Great Bay Area “Heat Dome” dissipated, coffee houses were suddenly serving up pumpkin spice lattes. And then, like 15 minutes later, the autumnal itch apparently scratched, it’s the holiday season. I’m afraid if I blink, I’ll miss New Year’s.

Granted, my perception of time whizzing by is more an effect of my age than the avaricious peril of Late Capitalism, but doesn’t it seem early to be doing Christmas shopping? 

I know the answer is a resounding “No!” followed by “commie,” muttered under someone’s breath.

As they say, you can never be too rich, too thin or too early to a holiday sale, and if you are, you can always bide your time with an aforementioned flavored coffee until the doors open. And they will open—they’re open now, in fact. The holiday season is when a number of retailers get back in the black—who can blame them for wanting it to start as soon as possible?

What this amounts to is that Retail Therapy is real—if not for the therapized then for the retailers of whom I’m a fan. Our local East Bay shops and purveyors and makers comprise a world-class marketplace. I used to think that the line “money makes the world go ’round” was just marketing spin. Turns out it’s a line from Cabaret. But it’s also a truism when it comes to local economies and why I encourage our readers to shop locally this season. A dollar spent in town has a magnifying effect that’s lost when we point and click our money into the ether of e-commerce (unless, of course, it’s a locally-run operation, then click away).

To that end, we present an in-depth gift guide to help inspire some of your holiday shopping. It’s also the season to prep for home entertaining, with all of its requisite cleaning, decorating and sundry home improvement projects (all the more reason to outsource the cooking to caterers—we cover that too). Because, dear readers, the season is upon us and time is as fleeting as snow in the Berkeley Hills—forgive the pun, but as they say, there’s no time like the present.

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