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ALPHA MALE: Get Away From It All This Holiday

Friday, November 23, 2012


Get away from it all this weekend, whether that's curling up with a good book, eating out with friends, or holiday shopping in Providence's Downcity. Photo: Ryan Plett.

Because of the extended Thanksgiving holiday, this week offers many of us the opportunity to step away from the office or the kids (or both) and take a little time for ourselves to enjoy a day trip, an

evening out or even time just spent alone and relaxing. In any of these pursuits, there is an air of casual respite that is welcomed and should be embraced. "Hakuna Matata" as the great proverb from Disney's "The Lion King" goes. "No worries" even for a little while is a good prescription for everyone. So, what to do with this time? Well, here are some tips on how to spend it- sometimes wisely, sometimes foolishly, but every time with great enjoyment hopefully. And I may just throw in a stlye tip or two to help cap off your plans.

The Day Trip

You have had the turkey and the stuffing and the pumpkin pie. Your familial obligations on Thursday are done. Whether you are abroad visiting family or friends or even if you stayed home and played Thanksgiving Day host, Friday or Saturday can be a great chance to explore somewhere new. If you are away for the long weekend, ask your host about a great place to spend the next day near them. Is there a nearby farmer's market? Antique shops, flea markets and book stores also give you some insight as to how the locals like to spend their free time. And chances are this Friday or Saturday kick off some great weekend holiday events. Check out a local online events source ahead of your trip out of town and see what's on tap. A few minutes homework can be parlayed into a full day of fun.

Trip Tip: Bring a collapsible bag. I keep a reusable market bag in my car at all times. A sturdy, decent sized bag can be very handy beyond just the grocery store and is easily stowed in a suitcase if you are traveling this holiday.

The Lunch Date

Got leftovers? Of course you do! Maybe grandma sent you home with a week's worth of Thanksgiving sandwiches, or you hosted and not everyone took home a doggy bag. Either way, we all love to munch on the meal that keeps on giving this week. But why not take those second-day sandwiches, pack up a picnic and take your significant other "out to lunch"? Take a walk, drive to a nearby park or maybe evening invite your date over for a relaxing spread by the fire. I believe the leftovers from Thanksgiving, like the meal itself, are best enjoyed sharing. Make a point to make the day after memorable with someone else too.

Lunch Tip: Not everything has to be leftover inspired. Lighten up the heavier Turkey Day feast with a dessert of fresh produce from the local market. Think berries and cream or apples and cheese as a way of getting a treat without the guilt of finishing off the Pecan Pie.

The "Me Time"

Everyone deserves to take a little time to himself or herself. Make a point to steal away for a couple of hours and do whatever it is you feel like. Want quiet time to read? Download a new book for your portable tablet and sit in bed, go grab a book off the shelf at your local book store or library. Take a walk in a nearby city and bring a camera. Take pictures wherever you go. Too cold for outside? Go to a movie—this Friday is spent shopping for a lot of people. Take advantage of no crowd at the matinee show.

Time Tip: Shut off your communications. Turn off the cell phone, don't check email and leave the social media accounts dormant for the duration of your down time. Yes, we all used to be capable of unplugging as recently as, oh, this half decade. Get back to basics and really enjoy the lack of distractions.

The Shopping Trip

Lots of us will go shopping on this 1st "official" weekend of the holiday season. I am not a fan of Black Friday. I never have been. It is a necessary evil for many looking to stretch their holiday budgets. I accept this and support anyone's responsible planning and gift spending at this time of year. But as a small business owner, with a retail shop in downtown Providence, I am a huge supporter of a newer movement, "Small Business Saturday". Started several years ago by American Express, Small Business Saturday focuses on the local businesses that have been acknowledged as the backbone of America's private sector and economic well-being. This Saturday, November 24, everyone can celebrate the holiday shopping season by patronizing their local stores and finding some pretty unique gifts for those on your list. Our Downcity neighborhood is a great example of local merchants offering everything from clothing to candles to sweet treats and coffee. There's even a Holiday Farmer's Market, places to lunch and even a Secret Santa contest for everyone!

Shop Tip: Come to think of it, this weekend is the perfect opportunity to combine all 3 suggestions above into one great weekend in places like downtown Providence! Now that really is getting away from it all- even for a day.

Robert Babigian is owner of WHARF Clothing & Wares, a menswear retail boutique located at 212 Westminster Street in Providence, RI. A native Rhode Islander, Rob started WHARF after 2 decades in marketing and sales to fulfill his desire to combine his loves of consumer branding, small business and style that would fulfill a niche for desirable men's clothing in the Providence market. The apparel and accessories found at WHARF reflect Rob's own personal aesthetic—a combination of traditional New England staples mixed with modern fits, construction and fabrics blended together with a touch of European style. For more tips or to shop the store, stop in and see Rob and his staff or reach them online at shopwharf.com.


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