Montclair Village is a unique and special place, especially at this time of year, festooned with decor and lit up for the holidays. This year, even more than in years past, the independently owned businesses that make up the village are counting on the community for support. Village merchants are asking the community to come out, enjoy the holiday ambience and help them end the year on a high note rather than buying gifts at chain stores.

Montclair is on a mission to highlight the district and its unique holiday charm. Businesses are open; storefronts are brightened up for a nice seasonal feel and many are offering holiday promotions as incentives to welcome people in. With all that has happened this year and the pandemic far from under control, gifts for family, friends and loved ones have special significance. And when the purchase of these gifts can help out the business community, it’s a win-win for all.

“The village offers the opportunity to find some unique and wonderful gifts for loved ones who, this year more than ever, need a little pick-me-up,” said Daniel Swafford, the Montclair Village Association’s executive director. “That thoughtfulness will go a long way to show appreciation for the individuals in your life in a way that also supports the small businesses of the community. It’s a chance to give a gift that has some meaning in it.”

Businesses are following county guidelines, making it possible for people to enjoy some of what they’re used to in a safe and sanitary way by prioritizing health safety with the wearing of masks, social distancing and restricting the number of customers within their retail spaces. The village initiated the “We Care About YOU” initiative earlier this year, prioritizing health safety and stressing the relationship between business owners and the community.

The goal is to make everyone’s holiday feel unique and special while accepting that it will be different. Businesses have adapted by providing free deliveries and pick-up stations outdoors, creating a safe way for the community to come out, shop, dine and be comfortable knowing that health safety is the priority.

“Let’s celebrate that difference and work through it in a way that shows the love and appreciation for community,” he said.

Village festivities will add to the holiday charm; with visits from the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees and Piedmont Troubadours to make wintry evenings festive.

Shopping choices abound. Patrons can book private shopping appointments at Pelago, which carries the hottest toys in town, like Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Ruth Bader Ginsburg action figures and Black Lives Matter Christmas ornaments. Hula Women’s Apparel invites patrons to drop in for a traditional glass of eggnog or brandy and shop for warming Kashmir and merino wool or beautiful kimonos.

Puzzle capital Montclair Toyhouse has more than 100 different types of puzzles with new winter themes; A Great Good Place for Books recommends their Great Good Gifts for the Holidays series, and Eleganzza Hair Design has a 20% sale on all hair products during December.

Le Bonbon Chocolates & Candies has pioneered a new website with free local delivery; Farmstead Cheeses and Wine will be preselling seasonal Alba white truffles; and Someone’s in the Kitchen, aka Holiday Baking Central, suggests cocktail napkins whose unique artwork, from funny to sophisticated, is the hot homemaker’s item for the season. Mountain Yoga has scheduled Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve morning holiday practice with nationally renowned instructor Dr. Baxter Bell, and Family Dog Walkers are offering holiday dog boarding with extra walks, attention and healthy treats.

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