Keeping it Merry and Bright in Downtown Ajax

Linda Cook

With a little creativity, we can all still keep it merry and bright this holiday season...

The realization that we will all be #HomeForTheHolidays is a reality. That reality means firing up the über-prepper in you to make the holiday season merry and bright. Fortunately, Downtown Ajax remains open and ready to deliver on your holiday shopping needs.

It’s easy for the super holiday hostess to find what you need without traveling too far. In fact, deciding what will grace your holiday table may be the most challenging choice we have.  Choko-Mocko, the 100% natural bakery on Station Street, caters to even the pickiest eaters at your table. Choko-Mocko is the only bakeshop in the region to provide gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan, and paleo freshly-baked bread, muffins, crepes, and desserts. They also offer healthy take-out meals, pasta, and raw snacks. Available for catering and online ordering.

Looking for some comfort food with flair? Fast, friendly, and flavourful are the three words that best describe Myrtle’s Kitchen. Known for their chicken stew and oxtail, Myrtle’s Kitchen offers the best in Jamaican soul food. Open for take-out at 9:00am, this family-owned gem is an excellent place to #SupportLocal.  You will need to call ahead for availability on their elusive legendary tripe dish, 905-619-2727. #ParadiseFound

Just around the corner from Myrtle’s is another bastion of comfort food. Satisfy your cravings for Diablo shrimp pasta or a classic Rueben sandwich by ordering for delivery from Coyote Jack’s Bar & Grill. Contactless delivery is available through Skip the Dishes.

If you’re thinking of stocking the freezer for movie time snacks or video game marathons, Almost Perfect and Sam’s Food Stores (26 Hunt Street) have the market cornered on frozen pizza and garlic fingers.

And what goes better with pizza? Locally sourced and crafted with love, Falcon Brewing’s Irish Red Ale. Established in Ajax in 2017, Falcon Brewing brews up 20 different craft beers on-premises. #BeerLoversRejoice! Lucky for us, there are ten available, at all times, on tap or in bottles for take-out directly from the brewery. Order ahead, grab your mask and tap into a new brew. If you’re looking for something a little different, I recommend giving the Ginger Haze a whirl. Closed on Mondays and given fluctuating COVID-19 restrictions, it’s best to call ahead 905-686-6686.

This might sound unconventional, but what really has been conventional this year? I find the most interesting #GiftIdeas when I cruise the aisles of the Home Hardware. My wooden charcuterie board was looking rather sad, so I found some beeswax and food-grade mineral oil to bring it back to life. Then, when the frenzy of “I need batteries,” “I need scotch tape,” and “Oh! Look at that air fryer!” hit, and it was time to go. (Otherwise, my shopping trips are less about necessity and more about delightful extras when I should be at home). Proudly Canadian and locally owned, Home Hardware is offering special #Holiday pick-up options. Ordering by December 10th guarantees delivery to the Ajax store before Christmas. Curbside pick up and delivery options are available.

For the fellas looking to spruce up their locks,  step into Florida Fades Barbershop. Specializing in originality and the stylistic qualities of the Florida flavour, barber Dany and the team deliver quality in a gorgeous atmosphere. Unfortunately, at this time, beard service is suspended due to Covid-19 regulations. Masks must also be worn during service.  Check their Instagram for some style inspiration for the little man in your life. (Think Hair Tattoo!) Appointments can be booked online. #AjaxHouseOfFades

Word on the street has it that Santa is ready to make his list and check it twice. He just needs your letters. He asks that you mail your letter early, as Canada Post may have trouble delivering on time due to an increase in packages and letters being mailed this year. Click here for updated holiday sending guidelines. #SantaClaus #CanadaPost

While we’re on the subject of the jolly man in red, the #TownofAjax, in partnership with the Ajax Library has some festive virtual #HomefortheHolidays events planned. Santa could use a little help this year. The Mayor & Council are acting as official Elves and lending a hand. They are collecting unwrapped toys and food through Dec. 14th. Drop off locations can be found here.  For a full list of the virtual events dubbed  “TOA Merry & Bright”, visit the Town’s events page.  Virtual holiday light tours continue through December 24th. #ChristmasSpirit.

The mantra #ShopLocal is not just a trending hashtag; it’s a necessity.  More now than ever before. Get #InspiredWhereYouLive and support the fine merchants of Downtown Ajax. #DurhamProud. With a little creativity, we can all keep it merry and bright this holiday season. Remember to #BeKind, practice #PhysicalDistancing and wear your mask.  Before heading out or online, it is recommended to check hours of operation and cut off curbside or online delivery dates.

From one über-prepper to another, wishing you a festive, healthy holiday season and a bright and safe #NewYear.