Holiday music seems like the perfect place to start; Christmas caroling is a tradition that has been largely foregone in the name of mass-produced, chart-topping radio hits. These days, finding anything other than an Amazon package at your doorstep is typically an unwelcome sight — salespeople seeking to rope you into a knife-selling pyramid scheme, religious zealots looking to share their views on salvation or flyers from a local political representative urging their stance on the education budget.
Ithaca’s downtown businesses hope to supplant the traditional post-Thanksgiving buying frenzies with Shift Your Shopping, a set of three themed shopping days aimed at promoting local business over big box stores this holiday season. From November 23 to 26, the holiday season will start with Plaid Friday, then celebrate Small Business Saturday, and end on a sweet note with Cider Monday. Allison Graffin, Downtown Ithaca Alliance marketing director said the weekend draws attention to both the importance and impact of shopping locally. “Plaid is the new Black,” said Local First Ithaca co-founder Jan Norman, explaining that Plaid Friday aims to shift attention away from giant corporations to independent retailers. Local First Ithaca has participated in Shift Your Shopping for several years, according to Norman.
Of all who give and receive vinyl, such as they are the wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the deejays. I spent this New Year’s celebrating Christmas. My girlfriend, Kaitlyn, arrived midday and we immediately took to opening our presents.
This past June, I took a weekend road trip to visit a friend who had stayed at Dartmouth for summer session — a popular option there given New Hampshire is one of the few places with worse winters than Ithaca. At some point in the weekend, we found ourselves at a “Christmas in June”-themed party, which is the only thing more gloriously tacky than actual Christmas parties. Ugly sweaters, Santa costumes and hot chocolate were out in full force, but the real holiday cheer came from the soundtrack. The usual suspects were all present and accounted for, as Mariah Carey’s legacy-defining “All I Want For Christmas Is You” tore the house down on multiple occasions. After a certain point, though, even holiday music lovers such as myself began to grow tired of monotonous commercial cheer — anyone who has listened to the radio in December knows that there’s only so much you can handle.