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Downtown Morgan Hill with Kathy Sullivan: Morgan Hill knows how to celebrate the holidays

Published in the December 7 – 20, 2016 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Kathy Sullivan

Kathy Sullivan

Kathy Sullivan

One of the joys of Morgan Hill is the holiday spirit displayed by our friends and neighbors. It is demonstrated in many forms, including the generous gifting of food, money and toys. Our churches, organizations and our youth work together to make the holidays brighter for those in need. Our annual Downtown Holiday Parade with its floats, entertainers and nonprofit groups showcase our community spirit. That spirit can also be seen in our stores and restaurants as they decorate to amuse and delight.

Many stores are extending their hours for special holiday shopping. BookSmart is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays. Starting Dec. 12, The Jewel Box is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to provide glittering jewelry gift items. Murphy’s Mercantile will be open all week during the holidays for unique stocking stuffers. Stagnaro’s Tack and Apparel is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturday through December for gifts suitable for the horse lovers in your life. Tryst Fashion apparel is extending its hours 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at their new address, 17415 Monterey Road across the street from the pop-up park.

We can all get Yuletide good feelings by shopping and dining locally and supporting our merchants. This practice gives back more than just good feelings. It saves on time and gas and provides us with the personal service we all crave. It is much less hectic and certainly more social as you run into friends and neighbors.

In the spirit of giving and to be in accordance with our mission to support downtown businesses and residents, the Morgan Hill Downtown Association will offer free gift wrapping between noon and 4 p.m. Dec. 17. Boy Scouts will be helping us. The Kiwanis of Morgan Hill will also partner in decorating downtown for all to enjoy. City staff has also worked hard to make sure our city shines and glows with decorative street lighting.

One exciting gift our town is getting is the opening of the new Granada as a renovated dinner theater. This new incarnation of the old movie theater will be starting with an event in keeping with good works done at this time of year. In its inaugural public event, this year’s Black, White and Bling gala to benefit Community Solutions will take place there Dec. 10.

On another note, I want to mention that during a six-week period in September and October, the MHDA members worked with the San Jose-based A Movable Feast for a trial run to increase the number of visitors downtown by providing a friendly and fun social dining opportunity featuring several food trucks parked along Third Street Wednesday afternoons. The MHDA wanted to see if local merchants agreed with the enthusiastic testimonials we received during the event from families and event goers, so we conducted a door-to-door survey of the 20 retail stores and restaurants that stayed open during A Movable Feast. The vast majority of downtown merchants and restaurant owners said they were open to the food trucks returning next year and gave us some excellent ideas on how to improve it.

Kathy Sullivan is a board member of the Morgan Hill Downtown Association. She wrote this column for Morgan Hill Life.