Happiness is a Gables Gift

There’s No Place Like Home to Search for the Perfect Presents

The holidays have become more joyful and hopeful with every passing year of my life. Maybe it is the happiness associated with gift giving – or maybe it’s no longer fearing the ubiquitous lump of coal promised by my mother. As I learned then, there is no greater incentive to behave oneself than to find exactly what you asked Santa for under the tree or in your stocking. Rarely, however, was I that lucky.

My parents believed in bestowing the necessities versus the wants, so socks were not out of the question or brand-new Fruit of the Loom tighty-whities. Candy was always on the docket (chubby kid catnip) as was religious iconography that reminded us Trowbridges of the reason for the season. Fast forward to today with my tastes having changed, I would welcome either of those first two items, less so the latter. Yes, my tastes have evolved. But my need to bring happiness to others remains very much the same.

This third edition of our Gift Guide – produced by our friends at Coral Gables Magazine – features some of the most beloved retailers in our City Beautiful. These vendors understand our holiday needs, wants, and desires. They become mind readers and soothsayers, filling their windows with bliss.

If you are like me, you get started early on holiday shopping. I make a list, brainstorm ideas, and then match these to the many diverse stores in The City Beautiful. I start this planning so early, in fact, that oftentimes when the holidays arrive, I have hidden said gifts so well that I must return to the store to backfill stockings and replenish packages under the tree.

It can be hard to embrace the holiday spirit when the average daily temperature hovers above 75 degrees. But thanks to programs like Small Business Saturday – which our Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce has been a best practice community for more than a decade – and a cadre of locally-owned businesses in downtown, we turn that warm embrace into a bear hug in support of all things small business. This year, the Chamber will once again host a package of events on Small Business Saturday.

This is the ideal day to find that book for a colleague, purchase gift cards for a spa day with the girls, invite a friend for lunch, grab the perfect present, buy an ornament for the tree, and of course, remember our pets, too. It is a day that focuses on thoughtfulness and shines bright – especially upon our small businesses, where we shop local the other days of the year too, providing us the perfect backdrop for these magical moments.

Mark A. Trowbridge is the President and CEO of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce