By Cynthia Litman
With the holidays upon us, this month we are exploring the attitude of local gratitude.
Local Gratitude Coach and Mompreneur, Lorraine Miller shares, “Cultivating an attitude of local gratitude enhances our appreciation for where we live and strengthens our sense of community. It increases our connection and allows us to enjoy Port Washington more fully which makes us appreciate and want to contribute towards our local community.”
Feeling grateful while exploring and experiencing our town come alive during Saturday’s Port Holiday Magic and Small Business Saturday event, makes the spirit of the season that much more magical and meaningful.
When gratitude is the undercurrent of the holiday season, which so often gets lost and buried amidst over trying to wrap it with a bow, you create meaning. That is the feeling that burns in our memories, that is what makes our small town, more than a zip code. It makes it home.
Making meaning is making magic.
When you care for the person you’re buying a gift for and buy it from a person you care for, that’s magic. When that person happens to be behind the counter of a Port Washington based business, that’s magic.
Bobbie Polay, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce which is co-producing Port Holiday Magic, assigned a value to this magic, “while making your way down your holiday shopping list, it’s important to note that for every $100 you spend in your local small businesses, $68 stays in our community through jobs, taxes, contributions to non-profits and more. For every $100 you spend online, $0 stays in our community.”
Our shared holiday traditions like Port Holiday Magic is what adds to our community memory bank.
The people behind the scenes of organizations and businesses in town operate from a gratitude mindset. They remind us daily about why living in Port is magic.
I checked in with Mindy Germain, Executive Director of Residents Forward, an organization I personally have tremendous gratitude for, about how to cultivate a local attitude of gratitude during Port Holiday Magic, which it is co-producing.
Mindy shares, “Like most residents, I feel tremendous gratitude to live in this community. On any given day you can walk from Main Street to the waterfront and feel a tremendous sense of pride.”
She continues, “we all want to raise a family in a real community. The return of Port Holiday Magic showcases a great community that everybody feels a part of.”
A large part of Residents Forward’s mission is creating a vibrant and walkable Main Street. Mindy explains, “Main Street is something we need to cherish and support. It’s our future as well as our past. Its vibrancy is essential to our future and Port Holiday Magic is just one of many efforts to enhance that vibrancy and feeling of pride.”
On special days, like Port Holiday Magic, the spirit of the season comes to life.
As Mindy describes, “There’s a certain magic that always exists on Main Street and Port Holiday Magic lifts that up and creates a shared experience for families and local merchants that you can only find in Port Washington. It becomes very Norman Rockwell-like to walk in your town and see it come to life with the spirt of the season – trollies, music, caroling, entertainment, decorations and families enjoying while supporting local merchants. The comradery is where the real magic happens.”
This event reinforces why we are lucky to live in Port and is layered with meaning.
Lorraine adds, “When we focus on the good in our community, we enjoy where we live more, we wake up happier and we are more kind and caring to our neighbors which in turn creates a more kind and caring atmosphere in our schools, businesses and all around our town. This helps nurture a support system where everyone feels loved and cared for.”
It’s easy to just click and buy but the idea of giving back to your community is why this event was created and brought back.
Tara McGinn operates AR Workshop, a new DIY business in town is looking forward to experiencing her first Port Holiday Magic. “I live in Manhasset and there are so many indescribable things that drew me to open my business in Port Washington. So far the community has been so welcoming and lower Main Street is so beautiful. I’m hoping to add to the magic that already exists!”
Bobbie adds a layer of why it’s important to cultivate a local attitude of gratitude, “You are supporting your local merchants who, not only appreciate your business, but also pay a large share of property taxes and help maintain the economic stability of our
community. They also offer special customer services that the big box stores don’t and they support requests for donations for our community organizations like the schools, scouts, religious and civic institutions, and others.”
There are over 27 participating merchants for Port Holiday Magic and Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24.
Let’s keep the magic of the season local and filled with gratitude. Leave the car behind, hop on a trolly, get to know your local merchants and have a great day with the family. There’s nothing quite like marching passed the toy soldiers and bonding over cocoa!
What you take home is magic.
MomTime Events showcases many local businesses and organizations through shared experiences. The businesses featured in our MomTime Marquets are often local mom run businesses. It creates a platform for them to showcase their products while connecting with local women and families in fun experiential ways.
MomTime Mindest’s goal is to open the conversation with new and established brick and mortar, online and home based businesses and organizations in and around Port Washington and deepen the understanding of the local Small Business Mindset, challenges and keys to longevity and connect our community.