PRETZELS AND BEER                                Todd Laidlaw of True Grain Bread in Summerland brings out a tray of freshly made pretzels during the third annual Summerland Sip N’ Shop event on Saturday. At right is Sam Rosen of Detonate Brewing in Summerland. The event paired beverage producers with local businesses for the evening. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

PRETZELS AND BEER Todd Laidlaw of True Grain Bread in Summerland brings out a tray of freshly made pretzels during the third annual Summerland Sip N’ Shop event on Saturday. At right is Sam Rosen of Detonate Brewing in Summerland. The event paired beverage producers with local businesses for the evening. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

COLUMN: Creating a positive shopping experience

The Summerland Sip N’ Shop on Saturday offered a relaxing atmosphere

The festive season is supposed to be a wonderful, joyful time of the year, and for the most part, it accomplishes this goal.

The biggest damper, at least for me, is the ritual of gift shopping.

Holiday shopping does not count as one of my 10 most enjoyable activities of the year. It’s not even in the top 20.

Too often, shopping during the festive season can be a bit hectic — and I’m not one of those people who waits until Dec. 24 to get started.

Shopping during the holiday season takes a lot of effort.

It involves making a list and checking it twice, then dashing through the snow to the stores.

If one or more of the items happens to be one of the year’s more popular gifts, finding it becomes an additional challenge.

READ ALSO: Millennial Money: How procrastinators can win at gift-giving

READ ALSO: Listening to Christmas music too early could affect your mental health

Shopping trips at this time of the year seldom go as smoothly as planned.

The other day, I was at a mall out of town, trying to do some of my holiday shopping.

On this evening, plenty of other shoppers had scheduled their trip to the mall for the same time as I was there.

As a result, the atmosphere was one of throngs of shoppers, rushing from shop to shop.

Store staff were doing their best to help customers and answer questions, and I applaud their efforts. It’s a hectic time of the year for anyone who works in retail sales.

At the end of the evening, I wanted to get as far away from a mall as possible.

This is when I consider doing all my shopping online next year.

It’s also when I wonder if it would be a good idea to forego gift exchanges entirely.

Such thoughts have me wondering if I’m turning into Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch.

After this last mall experience, I wondered if Saturday shopping in Summerland would turn out any better.

That evening, from 4 to 8 p.m., merchants in downtown Summerland opened their doors and invited customers in for a relaxing evening of shopping and wine tasting at the third annual Summerland Sip N’ Shop.

The event was organized by the Summerland Chamber of Commerce as a way to promote local wineries and beverages producers while also driving some traffic to downtown businesses.

Some of the businesses had live music playing, some had product samples and activities and others simply offered a relaxing mood for holiday shopping.

This last piece was perhaps the most important element of the evening.

This is how a December evening in the downtown area is supposed to feel.

READ ALSO: Half of shoppers say they have no holiday spending budget

An evening event like the Summerland Sip N’ Shop is no small undertaking.

It involves a lot of organization from the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, the participating merchants and the participating beverage producers.

There are also costs involved in booking musicians and paying staff for the evening.

Events of this nature don’t just happen. They are the result of hard work and dedication.

But the results, from what I saw on Saturday evening, were worth the effort.

People were out shopping, savouring wine and enjoying the evening.

And unlike my last mall experience, I felt good. I wasn’t rushed.

By the end of the evening, I was feeling something approaching a festive spirit.

Anyone who can make the holiday shopping experience a bit more enjoyable has my undying admiration and respect.

John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

LIVE MUSIC                                Bob and Jackie Farmer of Sedona performed at Purple Hemp Co. on Saturday evening during the third annual Summerland Sip N’ Shop event. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

LIVE MUSIC Bob and Jackie Farmer of Sedona performed at Purple Hemp Co. on Saturday evening during the third annual Summerland Sip N’ Shop event. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Just Posted

The Penticton Speedway has been sold but the investment group who bought it is planning to create an enhanced racetrack and racing experience. (File photo)
Penticton Speedway sold and staying as a racetrack

Investment group that includes founder of Area 27 intends to buy the Speedway

Forward Ethan Mann from Wisconsin has committed to the Penticton Vees for the 2021-22 season.(Contributed)
Penticton Vees land Wisconsin-born forward Ethan Mann

Mann scored 32 points in 21 high school hockey games this year in Wisconsin

Brad Eliason as seen here after he came out of a medically-induced coma after being severely injured during an unprovoked assault at Okanagan Lake beach by Thomas Kruger-Allen. (Photo courtesy of GoFundMe)
Beach attacker’s sentencing delayed in Penticton court

His defense lawyer has introduced a Charter of Rights breach application

The Nk'mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos. (Nk'mip Desert Cultural Centre photo)
Osoyoos Indian Band receives $400,000 grant for heritage project

Some of the money will be used to build a traditional pit house at Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre

Oliver Elementary School. (File)
Potential COVID-19 exposure at Oliver Elementary School

Interior Health lists two dates for the potential exposure

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)
Crack at Thirsk Dam to be examined

Reservoir west of Summerland was expanded in 2007

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

The District of Sicamous announced plans to purchase and manage the Sicamous Medical Centre on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Colleen Anderson and Malcolm Makayev have been overseeing this and other health matters on behalf of the district’s council. (Jim Elliot-Eagle Valley News)
Sicamous to purchase retiring doctor’s business, take over management

Move intended to attract new doctors by allowing them to focus on patient care

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

(File photo)
‘Give me your stuff! Oh, hello, officer’: Man surprised by Kamloops Mountie

A man trying to enter a vehicle stopped in Kamloops was greeted by an off-duty Kamloops Mountie inside

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Project rendering of Hadgraft Wilson Place (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)
68-unit affordable housing complex coming downtown Kelowna

The six-storey complex located on Fuller Ave is set to be completed by fall 2022

A man was arrested after he refused to vacate Alexander’s Beach Pub in Coldstream while not adhering to the business’s COVID-19 mask-wearing policy Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Google Maps photo)
Man arrested for refusing to leave Coldstream store without wearing mask

Store owner says man likely came in looking for an argument: ‘the fellow had a notepad’

Most Read