As the folks cram the malls and strip shopping plazas, tussling over the latest and greatest technogeek goodies, the most human-like dolls and figures, the currently cool video games and the finest of clothing, sports gear, cooking appliances and Lord knows what else, there is a quieter, simpler path.
There are treasures to be found for the sensitive and caring shopper who might be looking for something just a bit different, perhaps more thoughtful, more personal. It probably isn't the place to be looking for a gift for the teenager, or the internet guru all families seem to have.
Consider an institution that seems ubiquitous in our country these days - though some wonder how they survive. I speak of the Antique Mall - those weird out-of-the-way former warehouses or small factory buildings that have been given a new breath of life as repositories of the memories of our pasts.
In our area I find that Laughlintown Antiques Mall, just a couple miles east of Ligonier on US30, houses an extraordinary collection of treasures from earlier times. The choices are vast - crystal, china, jewelry, furniture, fine art, pottery, ceramics, primitives, toys, treasures all. It isn't "old". It is a special memory, a moment of romance from the past, chosen carefully by you for a very special someone.
Don't limit your Holiday cruising to the malls. Expand your horizons. Seek the unexpected down a quieter road. And while you are at it, make it a point to stop at the historic Compass Inn in Laughlintown. Decorated with a passion for traditional celebrations, the Inn's Candlelight Tours on December 11th and 12th give us an honest and faithful look into our region's history.