Rex and I close up our beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey, every year right after the annual Halloween Parade that starts on Mount Street, heads down Lake Avenue, turns left on Bridge Avenue, and proceeds into the fire station. By the end of October, all of the "bennies" are long gone, and the year-round Bay Head residents are left to enjoy the quiet tranquility of our beautiful beach town.
Leading up to Christmas, the local Bay Head merchants' association puts on a special night of holiday shopping, when all of our favorite stores stay open late and create a festive Christmas shopping atmosphere throughout the town.
Bay Head, New Jersey is not the type of place where people wake up at 5am on Black Friday (or sleep out in tents in front of the big box retailers) to stand in line for bargains. Especiallly off season, Bay Head is a sleepy little town where residents forego the thanksgiving ads from the big box retailers in favor of shopping at the old classic stores right in town... like the Jolly Tar or the stores in the Shopper's Wharf on Bridge Avenue, or head over to Mount Street to the Artisan's Galleria, maybe even commission a beautiful painting from local Bay Head artist Kate Leigh Cutler or find a special watercolor or oil painting by another Jersey Shore artist featured at the Anchor & Palette gallery in town.
If my Bay Head neighbors are looking for a big-screen color TV or Playstation or Wii, I bet they either wait for Santa Claus to bring it down the chimney or they avoid the crowds at the mall and purchase Black Friday items online.