Joellen Artz

Joellen Artz

By Joellen Artz, Columnist

Saturday of this coming weekend is Shop Local Day and is a way to promote our local merchants. Did you know that when you shop local that about 50 percent of what you spend stays right in your community in the way of salaries, sales tax and payment for local merchandise that has been sold to you?

For the most part, Morgan County and Rutledge, in particular, are great examples of communities full of small homegrown businesses rather than national chains. This is not to say that national businesses are bad. After all, aren’t we glad to have gas stations, Lowe’s, Wendy’s etc.? And even though they may be national companies they employ our friends and neighbors and pay property taxes and provide sales tax revenue which are the fuels that keep Morgan County and Rutledge going.

Let’s learn about Rutledge small businesses and their preparations for the holidays. At Ele & Honey Co, Jeanette has concocted yummy holiday candle fragrances and presents them in Mason jars or boxed to make gift giving easy. Paul, at the hardware store, has beefed up his inventory of Father’s Country Hams and Bacon from Bremen, Kentucky.

He’s carried the ham and bacon for years and many Rutledge residents buy them for gift giving or just good eats. Neighbor’s Market is brimming with Christmas candy canes, fancy pretzels, ribbon candy and red and green seasonal sweets as well as divinity and other confections that are actually Georgia made.

You still have time to order your Honey Baked Ham for Christmas dinner. Yesterday’s Café is booking up fast for Holiday get-togethers but Kris assures us that she still has plenty of dates available to reserve a room or tables for your favorite group. Call Yesterday’s at 706-557-9337 to make a reservation.

The ladies at the Co-Op have filled the shop with vintage Christmas jewelry and table linens they’ve collected all year. Among all the other trinkets and doodads that fill the store are Molly’s familiar Grinch gourd ornaments, gourd snowmen and her holiday floor cloths. The Caboose is showing family holiday movies, free of charge, every Friday at 6pm until Christmas and has scheduled its third annual Old Man Winter Breakfast for Saturday, December 21.

Their third annual Holiday Tea is on Sunday, December 15. Call 706-557-9021 for details. Next door at LilyBeth’s you’ll find a winter wonderland of Christmas trees, unique ornaments, holiday decor and gift items. One of LilyBeth’s windows has a whimsical scene based on the Legend of the Christmas Pickle and there are plenty of pickles to purchase.

The other window showcases a vintage 8’ Santa Claus, owned by a local resident who wants to share it with our community this year. There are lots of stocking stuffers, moderately priced gifts and unique Christmas items to choose from and many are made in the USA Stop in at the Rutledge Wellness Center where you can purchase the Gift of Wellness as gift certificates for Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Facial Rejuvenation, Nutrition or Electrolysis.

This weekend will be a great weekend in Rutledge to kick off the Holidays and to enjoy family fun. We hope to see you here. Reflections Salon and Adrienne’s on Main are geared up for holiday haircuts and all sorts of other ways to be pampered. Won’t you stay home from the regional malls this year and shop in Rutledge for your holiday needs? You’ll love the experience. If Rutledge stores don’t have what you need then try Madison.