Opinion: La Jolla’s getting the spirit

As much as we may not want to acknowledge it, November — and holiday shopping are upon us. And that means it’s time to think about our local shop owners, who put up with lousy weather this summer and are looking to this season to put the cheer back in their year.

We’ve said it before: Shopping local is good for all of us. Think of the time we save not trying to get out of La Jolla and the good will that comes from patronizing those who are part of our community.

Let’s start Sunday with the open houses that some of the Girard Avenue merchants are having between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Organized each year by Gina Phillips of Adelaide’s, the event benefits local charities as each merchant has agreed to give 10 percent of their proceeds that day to a nonprofit. If you can’t make it out Sunday, maybe on Tuesday you can spend a bit at La Maisonette, which is getting in the spirit for St. Germaine Children’s Charity with an open house from 4 to 6 p.m.

While these events are in the Village, remember we’ve got some nice places in Bird Rock and the Shores as well. So start a new habit this year: Stay at home and avoid the mall mess.

While you’re shopping …

Your Village merchants are starting to talk about how to make the shopping experience better for you and our visitors. At the first of a series of meetings organized by a consultant being paid by Councilwoman Sherri Lightner’s office this week, a few merchants talked about what needs to be done to make the area more attractive to shoppers.

Sure they’ve got the ulterior motive of improving business, but know that they are talking about things like brightening the area with holiday lights and how to improve the parking situation — like finding places where employees can park and exploring options for the weekends. They’re also talking about events aimed not just at tourists but locals as well.

It’s a small first step toward getting the shine back on the Jewel. Let’s encourage them. Any ideas? E-mail consultant Mike McLaughlin at

or call him at (619) 807-3378.