“The prettiest sight to see is the holly  that will be on your own front door”

Oh December with your holiday parties, shopping, gift giving and places to be for this month in Gwinnett County!  This is one of the busiest times and probably one of the most fun times of the year.  Of course by now you should have gotten that live Christmas tree and if you haven’t I am sure Randy’s Nursery on highway 29 still has a few left for you.  I am told David at Randy’s Nursery has “the sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow.”  

My favorite thing of course is going to all the holiday parties.  I get so excited about pulling out my black velvet coat jacket which is always a party hit.  I happened to be at the mall the other day and noticed these velvet jackets are very much in vogue this year and in a multitude of colors.   I can’t wait to get the blue and burgundy velvet coats to add to my holiday collection.   The invites to the parties come out fast and early.  In fact my very first party this year is on December 1st right here in Lawrenceville, then they just go to the end of the month from there.  So as you receive your invitations it is important to make sure you RSVP whether you will be attending their event or not.  That one step is extremely important because the host is planning for not only your arrival but the food, drinks, decorating, valet and many other important details that go into party planning.  A couple of other tips to remember are to bring each host a gift when you arrive.  Because I believe so much in shopping local I would suggest something from downtown Lawrenceville or in your local community.  A fresh wrapped up holiday arrangement from Lovin Florist would always make for a nice party thank you, as would a holiday cake or pie from Blue Rooster Café.  



There are so many places to shop these days for those holiday gifts and we all love being able to give and receive gifts.  In addition to online shopping and delivery there are the brick and mortar places as well.    Of course, again I recommend the local brick and mortar as more of the money you spend goes right back into your local community.   If you are  a small business owner wanting to reward your best clients you can also find many local establishments who will create gift cards for you with your logo on them from their establishments.  My favorite ones who do that type of marketing are ChoicesToYou.com and Texas Roadhouse in Snellville.  Of course gift cards from anywhere are great stocking stuffers and suggestions like one from Miracles of Massage or Lighthouse Car Wash are great places to start.   

As both online shopping and brick & mortar places get busier for the holiday shopping, unfortunately crooks get busy too.  So be sure to pick places to shop that have increased cameras and security.   This past month in an 11Alive News story they highlighted the increased police efforts of the Gwinnett CID during the holidays.  Executive Director Joe Allen explained “During the holiday season because we have more people here we are adding more people in.”  Most people don’t get off work until 5pm and by 6pm it is dark now, understanding which places are taking the additional measures of your safety is a place I personally would want to go for my holiday shopping needs.  The same needs to be considered when doing on line shopping as well.  I understand that many are already experiencing identity theft weeks before the holidays begin.  We have seen in past years many large companies being compromised during holiday spending.   A couple of tips I like to tell people is one check your statements every day, two, keep your credit cards separate from your wallet or purse.  If your purse is stolen then your credit cards are safe and though cash is king, it isn’t good to carry too much of it during the holidays.

Though Lawrenceville seems to be the hot spot for all of your holiday shopping, eating and entertainment, Gwinnett County is truly blessed with many communities who are working together to enhance their local shops and communities.  Some of my favorite leading communities include my friends at the Snellville Tourism and Trade Association as they really have the most well planned events I have seen in years from any group of people.  If you have not seen the newest Facebook pictures of City of Suwanee’s holiday decorations you are missing out as they are the best out there so far.  Each community has great websites and leaders doing great works one of the best ways I know in keeping up with all of them are to reach out to the Explore Gwinnett and online at ExploreGwinnet.org.  There you will find all the many things happening around Gwinnett County during the holidays and beyond to places like Stone Mountain and Lake Lanier Islands.

As we wrap up the 2014 and this article I want to personally thank all of you for the support you have given New Lawrenceville over the last eight years.  I am constantly amazed at the group who has come from a small networking opportunity that wanted better for Lawrenceville businesses and has grown into a giant force of possibilities.  

Thank you to our leaders who have stood up and led with our Spring Green Festival, Trolley Tours and Golf Tournament - Par for the Cause.   Thank you to our advertisers and sponsors in our magazines, newspaper articles and events.  Thank you to all our volunteers who without you we could not make it happen and thank you to all of you who read our stories and support our efforts.  It is you who help us in “Bringing Community Together”.   

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday’s to you and your families.  ~  New Lawrenceville! 

Thank you to December 2014 New Lawrenceville media sponsors - 

New-Lvlle-roundThis article is sponsored by New Lawrenceville. New Lawrenceville is a FREE networking organization of businesses and volunteers that are working to bring community together. https://www.facebook.com/NEWLawrenceville?fref=ts

Author Rodney Camren helps to lead New Lawrenceville in an effort to promote buying locally, educate the community on issues that affect our community. Rodney Camren is a Real Estate Agent with Keller Wiliams.