Meg Ann Lee: How You Can Shop Local For Your Holiday Gifts

It is that time of the year again when stores are full of green garland, glittering bulbs and that Mariah Carey song plays on repeat in the background. If you have ever worked a holiday retail job you know the feeling this song stirs up deep inside your soul.

Holiday shopping always throws me for a loop! What do people want? What do they need? What is the price limit? What if they don't love their gift? What if they get two of the same thing?!

THE STRESS.

Well, I'm here to ease your holiday gift giving worries with a great suggestion, shop local!

This year has been hard on local businesses, so what better way to show your support than to shop local this holiday season. Did you know that over ½ of your dollar stays in your community when you shop local versus when you shop from larger chain companies? Shopping local also helps lower your carbon footprint and is better for our planet. Supporting small businesses in your area not only helps stimulate the local economy but it also means that your friends and family are receiving unique, memorable gifts this holiday season.

So now the question is where!?
Don't worry I have you covered. I went to the coolest shops in downtown Eau Claire and did some digging for you!

Start your shopping spree by swinging into Northbound Coffee shop to grab a drink to keep you warm, their Café Campfire is fire. Next, start walking and pop in to all the small shops. There is everything from recycled clothing at Seven Suns Vintage, handmade jewelry from Hello Adorn, local art at Tangled up in Hue, vintage vinyl at Revival Records, trendy streetwear and boards from the Passion Board Shop and modern home goods from Red's Mercantile.

I promise you will find a ton of amazing gifts for everyone on your list this season and if you're not feeling up to shopping in the public just yet you're in luck because a lot of these shops have their items listed on their website and can ship straight to your door step!

Amazon who?

I hope this article inspires you to switch up your holiday shopping routine and check out these great local shops!
Here are links to some fun local shops in Eau Claire to check out:
Tangled Up in Hue
Raggedy Man
Red's Mercantile
Passion Board Shop
Hello Adorn
Odd Humyns

715 Spotlight: Blayne Midthun of Ramone’s Ice Cream Parlor

Ramone's Ice Cream Parlor is a well-known spot in downtown Eau Claire, but do you know the surprise inspiration for the shop?

Blayne Midthun tells the story to Tom Stryker, explains Cash for a Cause and lets us in on who Ramone really is.

715 Spotlight is a casual chat with some familiar faces around the Chippewa Valley. Have a suggestion for an episode? Email tom@i94online.com.

GRILLING TIPS AND TRICKS FOR YOUR 4TH OF JULY BARBECUE

Do you have grill anxiety? Whether you’re barbecuing for the family or a small holiday weekend gathering, the pressure to perform is real. This year you can relax and have some fun, because we've found some quick and easy grilling tips and tricks for your 4th of July barbecue! These life-hacks will surely make you look like a Grill Master.

Even more hacks to make entertaining a breeze....

Serve condiments in a muffin tin - using a tin is fancy, fun and super practical.

Cook fish over citrus - okay, you're probably not making fish this weekend, but  when you do grill fish, place citrus slices over a grill to keep fish from sticking to the rack. It also infuses your dish with natural flavors. DELISH!

Use two skewers instead of one - If you're all about kabobs, but dislike charred veggies. Don't load them on the same skewer. Your plant based friends will appreciate this and those peppers and mushrooms will be done to perfection.

Eau Claire Polar Plunge

The 2020 Eau Claire Polar Plunge is gonna be Cooler than ever! So round up your best team, put on your silliest costume, and come out to enjoy a festive day of plunging to support our athletes! Come celebrate a winter’s wonderland in our heated tents by the lake. We will have plenty of delicious food, a costume contest, fabulous prizes, and a “Chill” after-party. Chilly Bear awaits your company on February 23!

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Exclusive Screening

Prepare for one final journey and join us for an exclusive screening of the new Star Wars Movie, the The Rise of Skywalker. Thanks to Auto King you can join us at our showing on Thursday, December 19th at 9:00 at Micon Cinemas in Chippewa Falls.

Sign up to win a pair of tickets on the contest page #WinWithI94

Harvesting Hope Halloween Gala

I-94 and Cremation Society of Wisconsin, on behalf of Helpful Hearts and The ARC OF Eau Claire, invite you to join us for the 4th annual Harvesting Hope Halloween Gala (21+ event)!

Enjoy games, raffles, and events throughout the evening.

Tickets can be purchased for the full event ($35) which includes social hour, meal, and dance, or dance-only tickets ($10) with proceeds benefiting Helpful Hearts Foundation, and The Arc Eau Claire.

For more information and to purchase tickets  CLICK HERE!