Hinsdale shops a prime place to find holiday gifts

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me — a Hinsdale shopping spree!

Yes, yes, we know the song is really about the 12 days between Christmas and epiphany. Forgive us for this slightly corny set-up for a message we present on this page each December: Shop local.

This year more than ever Hinsdale merchants need our support. The coronavirus pandemic not only closed many shops in the spring, it has affected business since. And this is the time — the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas — when merchants expect to generate up to 30 percent of their revenue.

Some might think their only option this year is to rely on a major online retailer for Christmas gifts. We would encourage shoppers instead to take a look at all that is available from Hinsdale retailers. We’ve presented some three dozen ideas in the first three installments of our gift ideas series (see Page 7 for this week’s article) and will offer a dozen more in the Dec. 17 issue. While some items must be purchased in store (like the Steinway player piano!), most can be bought online.

While you-know-who is known for offering an amazing variety of products, the same is true of Hinsdale merchants.

Married to someone who loves jewelry? Hinsdale has five stores that carry nothing but jewelry, everything from custom-made pieces to engagement rings to luxury watches.

Looking for an antique pocket watch? You can find one in Hinsdale. Need a new iPhone? Check. A case of fine wine? A new pair of skis? Check, check and check.

Hinsdale also is home to three florists, two art galleries, three bakeries (one gluten-free) and dozens of boutiques that sell everything from women’s clothing and accessories to unique gift items.

Need some stocking stuffers? How about a gift card from one of Hinsdale’s restaurants? The recipient can enjoy take-out in January or wait until outdoor (or maybe even indoor!) dining opens up again. Nothing will help family and friends stay relaxed this winter like a gift certificate for a message or facial from one of Hinsdale’s salons or spas.

When it comes time to shop for Christmas dinner, you can find everything from appetizers to dessert from Hinsdale’s main grocery store or one of the specialty food shops in town.

For those who choose to shop in person, they just might be surprised with a $25 gift card from the village’s secret Santa. The new parking deck, accessible off Garfield Avenue, eliminates the need to search for an on-street spot.

Shopping in town has some intangible benefits, as well. Merchants have created gorgeous window displays and the buildings themselves — which contribute to the downtown’s status as a National Register Historic Place — are beautiful.

Shopping local also allows Hinsdaleans to support their friends and neighbors — some of whom own the shops in town and others who benefit from the sales tax dollars generated at retail stores.

As an added benefit, local business owners donate more to charity than nonlocal ones. Your patronage also might help keep the teenager who lives down the street — or in your own house — employed.

Many of the special holiday events that bring people to downtown Hinsdale this time of year, from carriage rides to the Christmas Walk, have been canceled due to COVID-19. But the main reason to shop in downtown Hinsdale this holiday season has not changed.