Trumansburg Connection: Give gifts of the heart, shop local

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As the season of giving approaches, it is easy to get caught up in the minutia of planning the perfect decorations, meals, and gifts, rather than focusing on the spirit of giving. It is so easy to turn to box stores and Amazon to deliver gifts right to your door. There are a lot of options for shopping locally, even in little towns like Trumansburg, and it is food for the soul to step back and take a little while to browse for meaningful gifts that speak to your emotions and connections with friends and loved ones.


Shopping local is not only good for the economy, but also a good way to really consider your relationships, and find the perfect way to show you care. When choosing a gift from a local artisan who put emotion into what they created, you are making connections between the artisan, yourself, and the person for which the gift is intended. It becomes a meaningful purchase and embodies the spirit of giving, rather than an obligatory gesture.


In addition to shopping at the various local businesses that are perfect spots to pick holiday gifts, there are plenty of craft and artisan sales during the holiday season in the Trumansburg Area. The day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, the Jacksonville Community Methodist Church will host the annual Holiday Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join them as they showcase unique vendors and handmade items, a silent auction, the Christmas Attic with gently used items for sale, breakfast, baked goods, and a luncheon.


Dec. 1 is a prime day to shop locally in Trumansburg! The 49th annual Community Craft Sale will take place at the Trumansburg Elementary School on Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Dec. 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This popular craft sale features over 60 local vendors, plus snacks and fundraising groups.


The Handmade Holiday Market also takes place on Dec. 1, at the Conservatory of Fine Arts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This “A Select Show and Sale by Area Artisans” features jewelry, art, photography, edible gifts, and other handmade goods. They will also host a cheese and cider pairing by Cross Winds Farm and Creamery and Black Diamond Cidery.


Wrap up your shopping day at Trumansburg WinterFest, which takes place on Dec. 1 from 4 to 7 p.m. Vendors from around the area will be set up on Main St. as well as in Garrett’s Brewing Company, the Tompkins Trust Company, and How Sweet It Is. Gifts for sale include wood burnt creations, herbals, leaf carvings, paintings, handmade jewelry, and more. Local shops are also open during WinterFest and all day Dec. 1 to search for that perfect meaningful gift, as is the Gemm Shop, which will be open through WinterFest.


The ninth annual Gorge Rd sale is set for Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. According to the Facebook page, organizers invite the public to “meet artists, makers, taste cider and listen to music all in a lovely home open to the public for the day. Some artists will have special deals and seconds on sale too!” Artists include, “Hannah Greaper Pottery, Esther Yolaz of Planetarium, Laurel O’Brien Jewelry, Laurin Ramsey of Liontail Press and Adam Millspaugh with woodwork.” Finger Lakes Cider House will be on hand with Kite and String cider.


If gift cards are your thing, the Trumansburg Elementary School PTO has your local gift card answer. In addition to selling box store gift cards as a fundraiser, they will also be selling gift cards to local merchants including Atlas Bowl, Felicia’s Atomic Brewhouse and Bakery, Gimme! Coffee, Hazelnut Kitchen, the Trumansburg ShurSave, Sundrees, Little Venice, and Good to Go! Trumansburg Market. Another unique gift idea is the newly released Tales of Trumansburg, which was written by Joe Baldwin, who passed away shortly before the book release. The book can be purchased at the Ulysses Historical Society and the Ulysses Philomathic Library for $25.


The Trumansburg Chamber is partnering with the Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau to facilitate shop local incentives. Limited numbers of Shop Small swag are available, please email elainespringboardcreative@gmail.com to learn more. In addition to reminding you to shop small, it is important to note the importance of leaving your debit and credit cards at home and instead paying for purchases in advance. This is true year-round, as small businesses struggle to balance product pricing with paying high credit card fees. Nana Monaco notes, “People often don’t realize that businesses are charged a swipe fee plus a percentage of the sale each time they use their credit card. If we added up all the fees that just our Main Street businesses pay here in Trumansburg, it would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s money going right out of our community. But credit cards are a part of our culture. I don’t ever discourage people from using their credit cards when they’re in the store. It’s just good to keep in mind that when you’re shopping small, using cash is best. You’re not only helping that business itself but the community at large. Small businesses put more money back into our communities than chain and online stores.”


Either way, shopping locally is a great way to give gifts of the heart while supporting your local community.

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