Shop Local Hardware Stores this Christmas Season

No Need for big box stores or malls!

As the masses begin their scurrying about in a frenzy of crazy lines, overflowing parking lots and not-so-friendly burned-out sales reps, I just shake my head and smile. I’m smiling as memories of long-ago trips with dad to the hardware store and lumber yard come to mind. The smell of freshly ripped lumber, wooden floors and big fat stogies smoked by most of the men. Our hamster cages were kept clean with big bags of lumberyard wood shavings as bedding. While the daddies may have shared a snort of an adult beverage, the kids were always offered big pretzel logs which we held like cigars as we imitated the men. Christmas cheer, joking and laughter made the trip fun and a holiday tradition.

Stepping into a good old-fashioned hardware store opens the senses as the treasured memories come flooding back. The creaky wooden floors, the wafting odors of fertilizers, paints, sub turps and oils bring it all back. I was my father’s shadow, always by his side watching him fix the cars, lawnmowers, dishwashers – pretty much anything my pop could fix. Being the Tomboy that I was, I was delighted to learn how to sweat-fit copper plumbing, lay brick, build the woodshed, lay cedar shakes, and chop wood for daily cozy winter fires in the living room.

I became aware early on that just about anything one needs could be found in the local hardware store. Three great local hardware stores that I visit are all that! Forget wasting time on thoughtless, meaningless gifts that good chances will be returned or laid aside and forgotten. High prices in large stores and malls are something I prefer to avoid. Small-town hardware stores are friendly and extremely helpful with advice on how-tos.

“Wish lists?” Sadly the fun of surprising a friend or loved one with the perfect gift has seemingly gone by the wayside. Excitement, anticipation, mystery guessing –out the window. In the hardware store, the variety of items to be found is incredible! Literally something for all. Malls and big box stores have off-season items packed away. Not so in our local hardware stores!


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