’Tis the season to shop ’til you drop if you already weren’t part of the Black Friday mobs.
In fact, you have only four weekends left before Christmas, fewer if you need to send those packages to far-flung places.
I don’t know about you, but about now, I’m feeling the pressure to deliver the perfect small gift, and it has to sing Lowcountry. After all, if I don’t see my relatives but once a year, it’s nice to have a remembrance from Charleston.
And since money is still tight for most of us, I like to find small ways to contribute to others during the holidays.
That’s why the annual Shopping With Friends event on Saturday is so timely. You can shop locally AND raise money for Lowcountry AIDS Services.
More than 100 retailers and restaurants are donating 10 percent of their proceeds from the day to the nonprofit, and this year, there are more shops from across the area helping out.
Looking over the list of retailers, there are several that will hold local treasures, and fulfill that surprise factor.
Blue Bicycle Books will have some of the latest local titles. It holds author signings all year long and stocks those books on the shelves. I’ll be looking for the new anthology “Literary Dogs and Their South Carolina Writers,” a book that is sure to delight. Twenty-five of the Palmetto State’s most beloved authors write about their memorable pooches. There is Padgett Powell’s “Ode to Spode,” Josephine Humphreys’ paean to a poodle, and Roger Pinckney’s Daufuskie Dog-ageddon, to name a few.
On the same block, Felice Designs is a place to satisfy the jewelry maven. Felice Killian is a lampworker who creates beautiful glass beads and then makes earring and necklaces from them.
New to me this year will be Peace Frogs, a clothing company with a shop at 168 Church St. that incorporates a happy frog on all its clothing. I’m going for the Save the Twinkies T-shirt. It’ll be a collector’s item and in 10 years the wearer will have to explain the possibly defunct finger food.
At The RSVP Shoppe on Broad Street, there are some of the most beautiful writing papers around. I love to pick up notecards and linger over the fine vellum paper, while I imagine myself at my desk penning lovingly scripted missives to friends. (Alas, my communication weapon of choice is a Dell and notes are often dashed off by email or Facebook between deadlines.)
If you have time for a more leisurely visit to downtown Charleston, then go to the truly Southern brunch put on by Lowcountry AIDS at the Riviera Theater from 10 a.m. to noon.
There will be both a silent and live auction, along with mimosas and bloody marys. Check out aids-services.com to see all the retailers and restaurants that are making this year a success. You can sign up for the brunch there, too.
This is the largest fundraiser of the year for Lowcountry AIDS, and it coincides with World AIDS Day. The great thing about contributing to this research is that more people are living with HIV than dying from it these days. The war is slowly being won, but 34 million people on the planet are still infected with the disease.
Look for the red balloons and ring in more than a little holiday cheer.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at email@example.com or 937-5557.