Brace yourself. The holiday shopping season is upon us. But for the love of all that is good and handmade, please spare yourself the insanity of the Black Friday frenzy of the big box variety. Show some local love (and indulge in some amazing food and drink) upstate this weekend. Let us suggest hitting up the Basilica Farm & Flea (from Basilica Hudson and Hudson River Exchange), which is kicking off tonight with a Black Friday Soirée and sneaky-peaky at the annual event’s offerings from 80+ vendors: regional makers, farmers, and vintage collectors. If you miss the soirée, fear not. The Farm & Flea is happening all weekend.
But by all means, don’t limit yourself to one venue! Small Business Saturday (tucked neatly between Black Friday and Cyber Monday) is the real consumer holiday chain store coup. So say (recent Hudson Valley transplants) Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, who are embarking on an “Indies First: Small Business Saturday” mini-tour with stops at independent booksellers the Golden Notebook in Woodstock (11 a.m.), Oblong Books in Rhinebeck (1:45 p.m.), and the Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson (3:45 p.m.). Don’t miss it. We’ll feel sorry for you if you do.