Greater Lansing is getting into the holiday spirit

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – Flakes of snow have touched the ground, and a bare pine tree stands tall outside the State Capitol, a sign to people across Mid-Michigan that the holiday season is here.

It might be weeks before people are stuffing stockings or lighting menorahs, but Michigan Retailers Association representative Andrea Bitely said it’s just the right time to start holiday shopping. Especially at the many small businesses the greater Lansing area has to offer.

“Retailers are really hoping for a lot of foot traffic this year,” she said. “It’s really important that people walk into their local shops and stores, and that they make those purchases locally.”

Days dedicated to shopping, like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday bring in most of that foot traffic, but business owners in Lansing’s shopping hubs, like Middle Village Micro Market in Washington Square, were prepping long before the leaves turned brown. “The normal try is to get it prepared in July,” said Sylvia’s Sudsery owner Danielle Hastings. “So, it’s usually about a four to six-month ahead of time process to get it ready for Christmas.”

Most of Hasting’s products are handmade, including lip balms, soaps and other self-care items. She’s expecting this year’s top-selling item to be the matching sets of fuzzy robes and slippers she’s already had on display at Middle Village.

Just a few feet away from Hasting’s is Honey Bun Bakery, where Byron Pepper will be selling breads and pastries made from scratch by himself and his wife. Pepper said they’ve also prepared homemade vanilla extract that’s been steeping since the spring.

“As a business owner, I’m so excited to have people downtown,” Pepper said. “And start showing people that this rumor that downtown Lansing is dead, is not true, and there are lots of great places to shop.”

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