Merry Christmas Eve everyone, and welcome to the final installment of our Shop Alameda holiday shopping column. If you’ve still got some shopping to do, the clock is running down. But there’s still time to take advantage of some local holiday deals and enjoy some local holiday doings.
Today’s the last day to visit Santa in his custom-built cottage out at Alameda Towne Centre (corner of Park and Otis, 521-1515) before he heads back to the North Pole. Santa will be available for visits and pictures from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. And while you’re at the shopping center, stop by and drop a few coins in the Frog Fountain at center court. The money will be donated to the Alameda Homeless Network to support Midway Shelter, which provides a roof and services for women and children fleeing domestic violence. They’ll be taking donations there through January 3.
Looking to put a two-wheeler under the tree this year? The folks over at Alameda Bicycle (1522 Park Street, 522-0070) can hook you up – literally, with a free U-lock, light set and helmet worth $120 if you purchase an adult bike at their store. And if you buy a kid’s bike – including a 12″ or 16″ bike that’s eligible for the store’s generous trade-up program – you’ll receive any one of those items, gratis. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The folks out at Blue Rectangle would like to thank you for making 2009 their best year ever! And if you’re looking for that one-of-a-kind gift, they’ve got pillows made from vintage silk scarves, blank journals and a fresh selection of vintage clothes, daily. And they’ve got free books for kids (one per child, yes they have to be there, and no, you don’t have to buy anything). Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Need a quick holiday clip or color before the festivities commence? I’d suggest you head over to the InStyle Salon (1412 Encinal Avenue, 521-0652) to see Gina. I did, and she gave me the best haircut I’ve had in years. Her prices are reasonable too (I paid $35 for a cut). And she’s a great gal to boot.
For 30 years, Boy Scout Troop 11 has been collecting your pre-owned Christmas trees, post-holiday. They’re at it again this year. For just five bucks, they’ll take your unflocked trees from your home, run it through a wood chipper and give the chips to Ploughshares Nursery. (And the ticket they give you has a two dollar coupon for Papa Murphy’s on the back.) The big day is January 9, 2010. Click the link above to sign up.
Don’t forget: The Island is also raising money for charity this holiday season. If you support The Island by subscribing this month, we’ll donate half your subscription charge to charity. Thanks for reading this year, and have a great rest of 2009!