Two Things to Add to Your Holiday List…

This is your year-end gift appeal from the MHPN. In this unrelenting economic downturn, we expand our message…

Two Things to Add to Your Holiday List…

I bet you’ve begun your holiday list. In the hustle of the season, it’s hard to track the novel demands on your time. Unlike remembering the recycling every Monday, you toy with failure if you don’t jot down that the punch bowl needs to come up from the basement and the drive belt on your snow blower needs replacing. And then, of course, there’s the complexity of buying presents.

Why not consider putting the following two things on your list to simplify your holidays and make you happier and more relaxed!

Ingredient for Holiday Happiness #1: Shop Downtown….

The MHPN is a strong proponent of the idea that at holiday time, no one should shop the malls. They foster sprawl and sap the life out of our traditional downtown commercial areas.

In spite of the economic downturn, the National Retail Federation reports that holiday shopping will average $704.18 per adult. Even if only 1% of Michigan’s 9,883,640 residents – or about 100,000 Michiganians – spend their $704.18 in traditional downtown areas, that infuses over $70 million into the economies of our most fragile retail environments.

I know the advertisements are beckoning you into your local mall, as they did when I still lived in the Lansing area. And when my mall puffed itself up into a “towne centre” in its promotions, I braced myself for an assault on my aesthetic sensibilities. Sure, the frosty globes on its fake historic lighting standards did make the falling snow sparkle softly, and strolling groups of holiday singers did lift the spirits. The mall, however – with shops arranged along a street grid and provided with individual storefronts – was marketed as providing me with a “real hometown holiday experience.” Yah. Right.

No. I’ll head back to Downtown Lansing and Old Town Lansing for the ease of spending my allotted $704.18 in just two locations. I’ll buy my cards, small gifts, and stocking stuffers from one-of-a-kind specialty stores. Spirits and lottery tickets are easy to find along with hand-rolled cigars. My favorite double-dipped chocolate-covered nuts come from The Peanut Shoppe (on, man, the best). The Pewabic tiles and Frostic stationary I like are at The Michigan Store, and I’ll pick up Poinsettia plants from The Lansing City Market. My lightening-speed efficiency will free up time for other fun things, and the local merchants will benefit. You can do this too.

Ingredient for Holiday Happiness #2: Give to the MHPN…

After you jingle your cash downtown, make a holiday gift to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network!

You’ve heard from the MHPN all year. We provided training that allowed you to care for your irreplaceable cultural resources with wisdom. We congregated your voice with others for more effective communications with our elected officials. Our Field Representatives helped your Historic District Commission protect the places that matter to you. We assured that preservation was part of the planning process rather than an afterthought. And much more.

If you have been well-served by the MHPN this past year, write a check in an amount that makes you want to throw confetti into the air! While you’re at it, give memberships to family and friends. Write your check to the MHPN and mail it to our Old Town office at 107 East Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906, or go to http://www.mhpn.org

Have a joy-filled holiday season, simple and meaningful. And we’ll see you in the New Year as we work together to protect the cultural gems of Michigan!

Janet Kreger
MHPN
President
2011

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One Response to Two Things to Add to Your Holiday List…

  1. Patrick Hudson says:

    My job takes me around the small towns Allegan & Van Buren counties so I’ve found the best places to get hand-dipped chocolate, non-franchise espresso, and as my numerous nieces & nephews have found, whole bunches of really unique birthday cards mailed from places with really strange names (i.e. Saugatuck, Gobles, Kendal, Paw Paw, Ganges, etc. and even Kalamazoo’s downtown mall). I don’t limit my purchases to just Christmas. My wife appreciates unique chocolate on any of the various holidays as well as birthdays. Part of the problem is not realizing that small town retail has never really been stabile. One interesting aspect of visiting the Lake Michigan shoreline communities each spring is to see which of my old favorite stores survived the winter, which ones moved and which ones are just fond memories.

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