Hudson -- After battling the crowds in big box stores, take the afternoon at a more leisurely pace from 2 to 6 p.m. and "Come to Hudson for the Holidays."

Holiday shopping season begins the day after Thanksgiving in Hudson and many of the specials offers on Friday will continue to Saturday for "Small Business Saturday."

The event is presented by members of The Merchants of Hudson, Hudson League for Service and Hudson Community Service Association.

More than 85 unique shops, restaurants and places to visit offer everyone the chance to enjoy holiday shopping at a more relaxed pace, according to Deb Sherman, marketing consultant for the Merchants of Hudson and First & Main.

"Shoppers can go to the big box stores in the morning but come back to Hudson for a more casual shopping experience," Sherman said.

Shopkeepers will offer special promotions, personal help and old-fashioned friendliness to eliminate the stress of shopping for the holidays, she said.

"It's a more laid back celebration after Thanksgiving," Sherman said.

For early risers who will remain in town, enjoy Breakfast with Santa, co-sponsored by Hudson's Restaurant & Keller Williams Chervenic Realty from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Call 330-650-1955 for reservations. All proceeds benefit St. Mary's Social Action Committee, which supports Hudson families in need.

Later in the day at Keller Williams Chervenic Realty from 2 to 4 p.m., catch a special appearance by Santa and his elves in Santa's Village, 148 N. Main St., just before he crosses Main Street to lead the Celebration of Lights and Caroling at the Gazebo at 5 p.m.

The Boy Scouts will light the luminarias at 4 p.m., lining the downtown streets and turning Hudson into a magical fairyland.

Carolers are encouraged to gather just before 5 p.m. for the Celebration of Lights and Caroling on the Gazebo Green. Bring along flashlights or battery-powered lanterns. Booklets of carols will be distributed by Hudson League for Service at the event. The lights on the massive pine trees on the Village Green will "magically" come on during the caroling, led by Santa and the Western Reserve Community Band.

After the Celebration of Lights, Hudson Fine Art & Framing, next to the Grey Colt on Main Street, invites all carolers to come in for cookies and hot chocolate.

"It's a big culmination of the evening," Sherman said. "Afterwards, there is hot chocolate and cookies at the Hudson Fine Art & Framing gallery."

Throughout the day, many merchants have activities and specials which are listed at www.merchantsofhudson.com, said Liz Murphy of Destination Hudson.

Many of the businesses will offer specials on Saturday, Nov. 29, which is AMEX's Small Business Saturday, Murphy said. The Global Entrepreneurial Week in Hudson Committee encourages all to shop Hudson on that day, supporting Hudson's many entrepreneurs and the local economy.

Event schedule

Merchants all over town will be serving refreshments, having drawings, specials, music and more:

All Brides Beautiful - White Friday and Small Business Saturday promotions: Make a girl's dream come true of going to prom. Bring in a gently worn prom or wedding gown and receive $150 off your total purchase of $500 or more at All Brides Beautiful. Donations will go to My Fairy Godmother - A Cleveland Charity making local prom dreams come true for years. Also, FREE personalized monogram with any wedding gown purchase during these two special days.

Chico's - Check store for current sales & promotions.

Chocolates of Hudson - Friday and Small Business Saturday: 20 percent off all personal and corporate holiday gift baskets.

Epiphany - For every $25 spent, receive five Epiphany dollars to spend in the store until the end of the year. Also, customers will be entered to win a Poo-Pourri Advent Calendar ($80 Value). Valid Friday and also Small Business Saturday.

Fair Trade on Main - From 8 a.m. to noon, Fair Trade on Main will be serving Belgium waffles dusted with your favorite toppings, coffee and juice ready for you to enjoy as you venture through the store's marketplace, which will be overflowing with treasures from all over the world. During the afternoon, Fair Trade on Main will be serving some holiday treats and all day Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., select a chocolate at checkout from the store's Christmas Tree. Each piece of candy will be tagged with a discount percentage for you to enjoy on your purchase, up to 30 percent. (One discount per person) Plus, you get to savor the chocolate!

Excitement continues on Small Business Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with tasty treats to enjoy from our "Women's Bean Project" line while browsing through our marketplace filled with gifts for one and all. Enjoy a 15 percent discount on all Christmas ornaments.

FASTFRAME - Place your custom framing order on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday and take an additional 10 percent off when you choose one of our brand new moulding selections from Roma or Larson-Juhl. We have the largest frame moulding selection anywhere and the best designers to assist you!

Fine Reflections Salon - Enjoy 20 percent off all products in stock. Purchase a $100 gift card to give as a gift and receive a $20 gift card for yourself.

Great Clips of Hudson - Donate a non-expired, non-perishable food item (or more) and receive a certificate for $3 off your next haircut. Donations for the sixth annual food drive benefitting Hudson Food Bank will be accepted through the end of the year. So do good, and look great! Get a great hair style at an equally great price, and help a neighbor in need. Great Clips of Hudson is located in the Acme Plaza next to Panera and is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 330-653-3090 for an appointment or check in online.

Green Roots Collection - Earn a $25 gift certificate on every $100 spent.

The Greenhouse - Black Friday only: Earn $10 Greenhouse Bucks for every $50 Spent *to be used on future purchases*. All fall merchandise is 50 percent Off.

Hershey's of Hudson - 20 percent off ice cream pies, cakes or quarts on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

Hudson Visitor Center - Stop in to enter to win a free Hudson jigsaw puzzle, and enjoy cider and cookies from noon to 4 p.m.

Hudson Fine Art & Framing - Enjoy a special Holiday art show "Let it Snow" featuring snowy landscapes and cozy interiors. Stop in to see paintings by nationally-known artist Marc Hanson.

Hudson's Restaurant - Breakfast with Santa on Black Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Adults $13, Kids 10 and under $10. Proceeds benefit St. Mary's Social Action Committee who help Hudson families in need. Reserve by Nov. 21 by calling 330-650-1955.

$5 Happy Hour every day from 3 to 7 p.m. includes $5 appetizers, martinis and wine. Buy $50 in Hudson's Restaurant Gift Cards and receive a $10 gift. Starts Nov. 28. While supplies last.

Nov. 29 (Small Business Saturday): We accept AMEX cards! Come in for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner and claim your Small Business Saturday statement credit. (Card holder must register their card. Please see americanexpress.com for all details.)

Giving Back: Hudson's Restaurant will be collecting new unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots during the holiday season.

Interiors Inc. - Come celebrate the holidays with cookies and hot cocoa, as well as 10 percent off all holiday decor. On Small Business Saturday, come support your local business and Hudson neighbors with 10 percent off the whole store.

KHC Consultants - How about a gift certificate for Personal Computer Tutoring Services? KHC Consultants is offering gift certificates with $5 off each hour of tutoring. 330-701-1038

Kindermusik: Register for a Free Trial class at www.kindermusik.com/hudson or call 330-655-8499.

The Learned Owl Book Shop - On Friday, Nov. 28, sleep in and shop late! From 1 to 8 p.m. stop in for refreshments and special deals on featured titles. Enter to win your very own leg lamp ("It's a major award"). Raffle will run Nov. 28 through Dec. 13. Tickets are $1 each or 7 for $5, and The Learned Owl Book Shop will match your contribution dollar for dollar, with proceeds going to the Hudson Food Pantry. Also, meet author Nancy Christie (Traveling Left of Center) from 1 to 3 p.m. On Small Business Saturday, refreshments and deals continue.

Lucia's... the Salon on Main - On Friday and Small Business Saturday purchase a $50 gift card and receive $10 free... Purchase a $100 gift card and receive $25 for free. Everything in the salon is 20 percent off, including Bare Minerals Makeup and Hot Tools (in stock only). All stocking stuffers are buy 2 get 1 free. Complimentary hot chocolate and candy served by our elves all day. Enter drawing to win FREE services for an entire year.

Main Street Cupcakes - Closed Nov. 28 but open Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29 with Holiday Showcase debut of our Holiday menu - we will be offering complimentary mini cupcakes and Hot Cocoa (while supplies last). Discounts given on Holiday orders and a Holiday drawing for a dozen cupcakes.

My Little Red Wagon - Donate to ACCESS Shelter in Akron by purchasing a paper doll to decorate and hang in our window. All proceeds go directly to ACCESS. Post a picture on our Facebook page of your creation and for every $25 you spend, you will receive a $5 gift certificate to use later! Plus... write a letter to Santa, give it directly to one of his elves who will be with us, and Santa will write back in a jiffy!

Nicky Nicole - Join the fun at Nicky Nicole as we celebrate Plaid Friday! Wear anything plaid and enjoy 15 percent off your entire regular price purchase! Spend $150 on any Nicky Nicole purchase and get a $10 Nicky Nicole Gift Card for your next visit. Lots of Plaid Friday Store Specials too! From 3 to 7 p.m., meet the Nicky Nicole Elf and take a photo! Make a free Jingle Bell Necklace. Enjoy Holiday sweets. Store Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Open Door Coffee Company - We will be hosting a show for the One Bead Project on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. One Bead is a non-profit organization in which 100 percent of all profits are returned to designated One Bead programs. Beads, bracelets and t-shirts will be available for sale. For additional information and the complete story, please check out their website. We will also be hosting a Trunk Show for Stony Hill Studios from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 29. Stony Hill Studios will be showcasing items made from the Coffee Bean Bags and recycled fabrics. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Coffee Kids mission. There will be shopping totes and messenger bags available for purchase as well as special orders for the holidays. All items are creatively made from recycled products.

Prudential/Kathy Reid Realty - On Friday and Small Business Saturday: Free Family Photos with Santa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cookies and punch will be provided. We will also be offering free home warranties to anyone who lists with us over the Holidays.

RE/MAX Trinity - Twas the night before Christmas... and too many Greater Cleveland children aren't nestled snugly in bed because they don't have beds. The Cleveland Furniture Bank provides twin beds for children in need, and the RE/MAX Trinity real estate office in Hudson is supporting that effort with a holiday bedding collection. Area residents can help by donating new, twin size sheets, blankets or comforters and standard pillows. Monetary donations also are accepted (checks payable to the Cleveland Furniture Bank). Just drop off your donation at the RE/MAX Trinity office at 118 W. Streetsboro Road in the Acme Plaza. Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday until Dec. 18.

Sal's Barber Shop - Friday and Small Business Saturday! Purchase a $50 gift card and receive $10 free. Purchase a $100 gift card and receive $25 for free. Also 20 percent off all products. Serving free hot chocolate and coffee.

Sedan or Van Transportation - 10 percent off one booking when you mention M.O.H. for the months of November and December. Also special rates are available when shopping locally in Hudson for the Holidays. Please call 330-256-6422 for details.

Viva Bene Gourmet (behind All Brides Beautiful) - Come in, and receive your choice of a select pasta, tapenade, olives, or pasta sauce with any pre-order of a holiday gourmet gift bag greater than $75. Also, register to win a Viva Bene Classic Gourmet Gift Bag worth $100.

Yoga Lounge - Day after Thanksgiving: Early Bird Special. Come check out some amazing brands, including Alo, Beyond Yoga, Enza Costa, and more! 7 a.m. to noon 30 percent off all items in the boutique. From noon to 4 p.m. 25 percent off all items in the boutique. 4 to 9 p.m. 20 percent off all items in the boutique.

Yoga Lounge Gift Cards: For every $100 you spend on gift cards from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, you will receive $10 added to the gift card you purchase.

Zeppe's Italian Bistro - Black Friday, Nov. 28 through Sunday the 30: Dine with us for lunch or dinner and be entered to win a Zeppe's Italian Bistro Basket with gift certificate - $100 Value! Order your Holiday Bistro Baskets directly at 216-408-0558. Also on Black Friday, purchase a $50 Zeppe's Gift Certificate for $45. Black Friday through Dec. 21 Purchase a $50 Zeppe's Gift Certificate or more and receive an eight-cut one topping pizza for free.

Saturday, Nov. 29 on Small Business Saturday, use your American Express Card when dining and receive money back from American Express. See their website for details. Also, enjoy $5 off of any order of $25. Just mention code "THANKS". Does not include tax or tip and is not valid with any other offer. One per table please! Good for dine in, pick-up and delivery.

On Monday, Dec. 15, Santa Claus will be making his annual visit and will be joined by a very special Snowman from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This wonderful event falls on Kids Eat Free Every Monday: With the purchase of one adult entree, receive a FREE KID'S MEAL! Join us for dinner and bring your cameras. We do not charge for sittings with Santa or Snowman! Reservations are recommended for this event by calling 330-655-9600.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434