It's crunch time, Philly. If you thought surviving Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday would be the worst of it, you were wrong. You have terrible traffic, unpleasant weather, tourism, and Round Two of family time to look forward to, as well as holiday shopping.
I know, deep breath.
If just the thought of your to-do list makes you feel as if you need a break, then do I have the thing for you.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of Center City, and the judgment of neighbors who put up holiday lights the second that Thanksgiving dinner was over, and travel to Chestnut Hill. There, every Wednesday in December, from 6 to 9 p.m., visitors can join Stag & Doe Night, enjoying extended store hours, seasonal drinks, and even some visits from Santa Claus.
Sometimes referred to as Staggering Doe night (because, apparently, there's alcohol available), Stag & Doe is one of Chestnut Hill's older and most favored traditions.
In the 1970s, some prominent neighborhood guys decided to create "Stag Night." The wives of Chestnut Hill would go around to local shops and leave a record with the store owners of the things they wanted their husbands to give them for Christmas. Then, on a designated Wednesday in December, the dudes set out on a shopping excursion to discover what exactly they were meant to give that year. The stores provided drinks and food for the guys as they made their rounds. It didn't take long for "Stag Night" to go from convenient shopping experience to big party - thanks to alcohol and male bonding.
But men aren't the only people who can drink and shop. A few years later, women joined in, and Stag & Doe Night was expanded to several Wednesdays leading up to Christmas. Store owners still provide food and drink, and it's basically a great way to shop, socialize, and otherwise break up the holiday monotony.
"The nights provide the ultimate opportunity for guests to find the perfect gifts for everyone on their list - while treating themselves to a festive excursion through our charming urban village," said Martha Sharkey, executive director of the Chestnut Hill Business Association.
If you're dreading holiday shopping, try turning it into a "festive excursion" instead. You can thank me Dec. 26.