The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Main Street Holiday Shopping Crawl

Downtown Grinnell gears up for Jingle Bell Holiday
Grinnell will kick off the holiday season with the annual Jingle Bell Holiday festivities on Friday, Dec. 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mayor Gordon Canfield will light the town tree at 5:15 p.m. and Santa and Mrs. Clause will be greeting kids and the young at heart in the Sullivan Jewel Box Bank. Stores will be offering promotions, samples and plenty of holiday cheer during open houses. The Drake Library, Grinnell Arts Center, and a a number of area churches also have events planned. For a complete schedule of the weekend go to

Marketplace on Main

If you’re looking for a place to purchase a unique, one-of-a-kind gift for your loyal friend, family member, or that special someone, Marketplace on Main is just the place. The store, set up with smaller individual stores within the collective space—hence the name Marketplace—has a local focus and truly embodies community support. You can expect to find beautiful handmade quilted blankets sewn with love and care by an 89-year-old resident at the Grinnell Health Care Center. Perhaps for your beloved, but sometimes hygiene-lax roommate, you can gift the joy of scent with homemade crystals that are sure to freshen up the room for all who dare to pass through. For that fashionista or hipster friend, Vintro offers vintage clothing at affordable prices. A number of local artists, including painters and furniture makers, also showcase and sell their wares. Bogie’s Book Nook sells used books, tea, pet accessories and merchandise from Poweshiek Animal League Shelter (PALS) proceeds from which will go toward bettering the fates of homeless animals. Perhaps the store’s quirkiest item, called Nono Muffs, are hand warmers that can be used to keep hands toasty at sporting events or in class as an excuse to not take notes, open your book or raise your hand. The best part of Marketplace merchandise is that everything has a story, one you can share with your giftee.

Danish Maid Bakery
The Danish Maid bakes fresh sweets during the wee hours of the day each morning. During the holiday season, the bakery will have Christmas cookies decorated with colorful icing and sprinkles at affordable prices between $1-$2 as well its usual array of doughnuts. The bakery’s popular Pink Champagne cupcakes would also make for a casual gift for a professor or a friend.

Flowers on Fourth
Nearly everyone loves receiving flowers, even with their ephemeral nature. Flowers On Fourth sells flower arrangements, bouquets, baskets and more. The moment you enter the vaguely rainforest-like shop, you’re greeted by the chirping of colorful birds and the aroma of fresh cut flowers. Rotating artificial evergreen trees display little holiday ornaments for sale. During the holiday season you have the option of adding bits of evergreen to spice up any grouping of flowers. Everyday during the store’s last hour before closing time, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., wrapped flowers (without a vase or other adornments) are all 50% off when paid with cash.

Scrap It Plus
This crafts store offers infinite possibilities for channeling your creativity into making one of a kind gifts. In paper crafts you can make a personalized mini photo album, a bedazzled holiday card, or a decorative picture frame. Sample photo albums showed plenty of promise, with pre-made hard covers with blinged out butterflies and sparkly snowmen, in which you can dictate the number and appearance of page inserts. The back of the store has a space with ready-to-paint ceramic items from a Frankenstein ornament, to a Santa figurine, to a large salad bowl. The painted work can be fired in the store’s kilns to produce the final product that is made with loving care. Scrap It Plus is a friendly store for both crafts junkies and persons looking to discover their inner artist. As an added bonus, Santa in all his authentic glory will be eating cookies and gracing the town with his presence at the store on Dec. 2.

Beckman Gallery
The store consists almost entirely of holiday decorations. From the multitude of artificial trees that crowd the store hang stuffed owls, mini frames, and other festive ornaments. The most notable piece of décor however, was a painting of a reindeer donning a holiday wreath around its neck that would be the perfect addition to any surface that needs spicing up. The store also offers a wide selection of fluffy towels in the back as well as an entire wall of candles. Though the store’s amount of holiday merchandise may be a bit overwhelming upon first entering, there are plenty gems of hidden knick-knacks that make for eccentric gifts.

Though part of a greater American company, like other stores on Main St., the Grinnell Hallmark store seems to have its own small town charm. Filled with artificial Christmas trees, ornaments and lots of holiday sparkle, there is a bit of everything: the standard array of cards, candles, trinkets and other novelty items are aplenty. The store also carries a stock of Iowa Hawkeyes gear and other colorful apparel. The store is currently having a 25% off fall sale.

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