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Friday, November 4, 2011

On keeping your Benjamins local this holiday season, panic shopping and decluttering before the deluge

My family is just coming off of a major decluttering, from globes to old shoes, we got rid of a ton of possessions during our recent move. But we’re faced with another opportunity to declutter and that is the traditional pre-Holiday Ford Family Toy Drive where we touch every toy in the house, make a pile of toys we haven’t played with in months and donate them to a shelter in time for the Holidays. It falls in the vein of the Halloween Candy Fairy which I was just introduced to and it helps your children see outside of themselves, it also helps me do better targeted shopping.

This Holiday season I am going to follow my pattern of hyperlocal shopping where I only buy gifts from small business owners in my city, otherwise known as “keeping my Benjamins local”. I need your direction in terms of stores, museum gift shops and Holiday fairs so that I can get organized and start shopping. And yes, I do start shopping early so that I don’t do what’s referred to as “panic shop” and buy totally inappropriate gifts for people, like the cucumber I bought my mother-in-law last year – TOTALLY inappropriate!

My first stop this year was Becky & Me Toys on Grove Street in Evanston, The photo above is of the stash I scored which is predominantly going to be stocking stuffers. The major score is the 4-D Chicago skyline puzzle! We got the New York City 4-D puzzle last year, which was a major hit, but this year’s Chicago version is really going to be special because my boys can actually go visit the buildings they “build”.

The service at Becky & Me was great and they have a special club where if you spend $75 or more, you get discounts and sale notifications via email. And I walked to the store, which is always a major bonus.

What else do I need to check out? When are the Holiday fairs in Evanston? Let me know at and I’ll be sure to help get the word out.


Thank you for reading my blog "Evanston Newbie", a project that I am using to chronicle my new life in Evanston. Do you have favorite Evanston bakeries, bike shops, events that you can recommend? Send me an email at and I will post my review on this blog. -Lisa Degliantoni

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