Spread a Little Holiday Cheer in Downtown Alpena

Written by Kingsli Kraft | December 4th, 2020

The holiday season is upon us and while we may not be able to celebrate in the ways we usually would, here are some ideas of things to do to get in the holiday spirit and spread a little holiday cheer. 

Shop small and shop local this year if you can. I know you’ve probably heard it countless times this year, and now more than ever it is critical to support our locally owned and operated small businesses. This blog post written by John Guerra for Our Town America for “Seven Reasons to Shop Small Year Round” explains it best!  From traditional retail, to restaurants, to salons, spas and other services, Downtown Alpena has so much to offer no matter who you’re shopping for! And if you can’t find that perfect gift for your loved one, you can always give the gift of Downtown Dollars!

Order take-out or delivery from one of our amazing local restaurants and eateries. This year has been hard on everyone, and, at least for me, it has highlighted how often I took for granted the ability to go out to a restaurant for a good meal and great ambiance. Our downtown eateries are currently closed to dine-in services (through December 8th) and all of them are still open and offering take-out or delivery! Consider adding a gift card to a restaurant to your loved ones’ stocking! (Don’t forget to tip still even if you’re just getting take-out or delivery!). Click here to view a one-stop shop graphic of all the downtown eateries offering takeout & delivery right now!

Visit with Santa virtually. This year in-person Visits with Santa at his cottage downtown have been cancelled, and we’ve partnered with our friends at Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library to bring you Storytime with Santa on Facebook Live on Downtown Alpena’s Facebook Page on Saturday, December 12th and Saturday, December 19th at 11:00am.

Take a selfie in lovely and festive Culligan Plaza. The tree in Culligan Plaza this year is beautiful, definitely one of our favorite trees from the last few years (thank you to Noah Skiba & Family for donating this year’s tree)! There are so many great photo ops in Culligan Plaza right now, in front of the tree, in front of Santa’s cottage, surrounded by the wonderful red presents. It’s sure to be extra magical after that first dusting of snow!

Bundle up and take a stroll through downtown and check out all the lovely window decorations and displays! I remember when I was really little waiting excitedly for the reveal of Alpena Furniture’s windows and they certainly have never disappointed! 

Grab a delicious seasonal beverage to go at one of our downtown coffee shops, Biggby Coffee or Cabin Creek Coffee. 

Since this time of year is all about giving, give back to the community by making a donation to one of our amazing downtown nonprofits like: Thunder Bay Theatre, Friends Together, Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library, Art in the Loft, Thunder Bay Arts Council, Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative and the United Way of Northeast Michigan to name a few. 

Treat yourself. I know this time of year is about giving to our loved ones, and after the difficulties and hurdles and turmoil of this year, we all deserve a treat. Big or small, don’t forget to give yourself a little love this season too. Maybe it’s a refresh at the salon, extra whipped cream on your hot cocoa at Cabin Creek, a new book from Olivet Books and Gifts or Parallel 45 Books and Gifts, a new throw blanket to help you stay cozy while you work from home, a piece of artwork from Thunder Bay Arts Gallery, a face mask or body scrub from Soaps and Such–I think you get the picture! 

Of course there are numerous ways to get in the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer (we didn’t even get to ‘singing loud for all to hear!’), and these are just a few ideas. How are you getting in the Holiday Spirit this year? Are you trying anything new? Are you settling into the comfort of timeless traditions? However and whatever you celebrate, we wish you the happiest holidays and cheers to the new year! 

Kingsli Kraft wrote this article for Blog Downtown Alpena. Kingsli is an Alpena native and a graduate of the University of Michigan. She now works at the Alpena Downtown Development Authority as the Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. She volunteers on Thunder Bay Theatre’s Board of Directors and is a dedicated advocate for the arts and environment. She enjoys reading, writing, yoga, hiking, caring for her numerous house plants and all things coffee. You can follow her on Instagram here.

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