Well, all the awkward family dinners where we all avoid politics and religion and turn instead to alcohol and turkey have ended and if you're reading this, well, looks like you made it out the other side. Good for you. One more month 'til Christmas, when we get to do it all again, but with presents. Then — at long last — we get to kiss 2016 none-too-gently goodbye.
But first, let's get our weekend on, shall we? There's a ton to do this weekend that doesn't relegate you to the innards of a artificially lit center of mass consumption — you may call it a mall — but if you absolutely positively have to get to Bath & Body Works to get their Black Friday deals on shower gel, well, get it over with and then get back out in the real world, 'cause this weekend has a lot going for it that doesn't involve things made in China.
Like what, you say? All righty then, since you asked...
If you insist on shopping today, well, all I can say is we all get to go to hell in our own special way. If, however, you find you can't stomach the line at Kohl's for one more minute, try these venues instead:
The Pop-Up Creative Market at Flying Pig Taphouse lets you drink beer and shop local, which, if the businesses in St. Pete's Edge District are any indication, are a few of of our favorite things. Over in Seminole Heights, Gottglass? at Phoenix Glass Studio features the work of Susan Gott all day, with a reception and glass blowing demo in the evening.
In Largo, the Florida Botanical Gardens lights up with holiday spirit tonight — and stays lit through the end of the year. If you go, find the popcorn tree. Totally worth it.
Outraged about Standing Rock? Check out the Stan Natchez exhibit at HCC Ybor. It's not about Standing Rock, exactly, but the overarching issues that create Standing Rock. And, hey, as long as you're in Tampa, pop over to everyone's favorite bookseller, Inkwood Books, for Small Business Saturday. Stephanie has four authors lined up — two of them write for CL: Peter Meinke and myself — and a store filled with books that makes it easy to knock out your holiday shopping. When you're done, head to Seminole Heights for the Holiday Shop Hop.
Beachside, 100 Artists takes over St. Pete Beach's Horan Park. Look, Suntan Art Center doesn't bill this as a shop local event, but trust me, it (mostly) is and totally worth it.
Read the Sunday New York Times. Go get brunch at either Rooster & the Till, Brew Bus Brewing or Lenny's. Your call. Spend the rest of the day snoozing on the couch with the dogs, or go take a walk in a park. Either way, rest up — you're back at it tomorrow.