Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the last Saturday in November. The first one was sponsored by American Express and was held November 27, 2010 to encourage shoppers to start off their holiday shopping in small and local establishments. Where else would the Brit Girls be on such a special day…. at Bella Luna Gifts in Morris of course! We knew it would be an amazing day, after all…. we were there last year and it was fabulous. The store opened early to a flurry of customers wanting to get a head start on their holiday shopping. Sounds of Christmas entertained the guests in the form of the ever amazing Grace Nield, the talented cellist. Others were treated to free massages by Rita Lombardi. Tea, coffee and European style lemonade was served as well as our famous scones with clotted cream and jam as well as Auntie Pat’s mince pies getting everyone into the Christmas spirit. I caught Dave, the owner, just watching everyone busy shopping, chatting and visiting their favorite place. I know last year Dave and Anita stood watching with tears in their eyes at how Bella Luna Gifts had been welcomed into this town and community. I don’t think they every dreamed this year could be better than last, but they were wrong, it was bigger, better and made them smile even more!
When you live away from your family and friends it’s hard to recreate the spirit of the holidays you grew accustomed to. Growing up in England you had the markets, the late night shopping the works’ ‘do’ and the never ending family dropping in for a brew and a mince pie (sometimes something stronger…. for medicinal purposes of course) to start off the celebrations each year. Unless you find yourself in a city here in the USA, you miss the hustle and bustle of the main street….. but Bella Luna Gifts is our little slice of this. Dave and Anita have worked hard to create not only a unique gift store but a destination. Not just a place to find that special gift, but a place to meet friends, come for a chat or pop in to see Charlie the dog! It’s calming, quaint and relaxing. You’re always welcome no matter what. I walked out of the store the other night and looked back on the beautiful window displays, ever so carefully set out by Anita’s sister Grace, and thought,,,,”this is it…. it’s just like back home” So, if you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and stop in. You’ll love it!