TODAY is Monday, Dec. 23. Today and tomorrow - and really only about half of tomorrow - are the last opportunities for gift givers to buy Christmas presents in time for Santa's arrival.In keeping with the theme of author Bruce Feirstein's 1982 best seller "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche," it's time for the procrastinators in the household to start thinking about Christmas shopping.But not to worry for those who didn't take part in the Black Friday specials or order online on Cyber Monday and no longer have the time to get items shipped from out of state.Folks in and around the Kanawha Valley have plenty of places to shop. The beauty of the capitalist system is that competition for shoppers begets lots of choices and low prices.
In and around the Charleston area are the Town Center, Shoppes at Trace Fork, Southridge Centre, Nitro Marketplace, Huntington Mall, and many more.But often overlooked these days in the era of modern shopping megaplexes and all the attributes they provide are the old-fashioned retail areas that now offer antiques and collectables, small boutique shops, specialty shops, art stores, hardware stores and more.A trip to downtown Charleston is a good place to start, with plenty of cheap parking in several municipal parking garages. Or try just up the hill in the Bridge Road shopping district, the village area of Kanawha City, West Washington Street, the D Street and Spring Hill areas of South Charleston as well as the downtowns of Dunbar, St. Albans, Nitro and dozens of other small towns.Bargains and charm await. Happy shopping.