Stroll Shelter Island shops on Dec. 10

Shelter Island holiday

Stars Cafe welcomes hungry customers with a decorated entranceway (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

In this day and age, events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday with their endless “door busters” and cut-throat stampede consumerism may be a blood sport for some shoppers, but for many of us, that sort of thing is hardly an effective way to evoke the holiday spirit.

What ever happened to good old-fashioned civilized shopping? The kind where you didn’t have to jump in your car, sit in traffic and fight for a space in a jam-packed parking lot (to say nothing of engaging in fist-fights over the last reindeer sweater on the rack).

Personally, we prefer strolling along picturesque lanes beautifully adorned for the holidays as we pop in and out of mom and pop shops in search of just the right gift — be it the magical, unexpected or delightfully original. Along the way, we relish the opportunity to catch up with shopkeepers by finding out more about the products they sell or offering our best wishes for the year ahead.

Fortunately, this sort of retail therapy is alive and well on Shelter Island where, on Saturday, December 10, the Chamber of Commerce will host an Island-wide holiday stroll (or drive if you prefer). From 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., chamber member merchants will be open for business and the streets will reflect the joy of the season thanks to the artistic efforts of Shelter Island School students who have decorated trees across the Island for the occasion.

So take a walk! We’re pretty sure you’ll be all the happier for it … and at this time of year, isn’t happiness what it’s all about?

By the way Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce is also distributing a booklet highlighting those businesses taking part in the day. Visit shelterislandchamber.org for details.