2017-12-14 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

•Remember to shop Babylon Village this holiday season, especially Friday night, Dec. 15. The Babylon Village Chamber of Commerce is going to transform the business district into the era of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” From 5 to 9 p.m. our streets will be filled with the very memorable characters from this Christmas classic, including: Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present and many more. Shops will remain open to help you do your holiday shopping.

Gingerbread House Contest: Bring your previously decorated Gingerbread House to the area in front of the Fitness Incentive between 5 and 5:30 p.m. on Friday to enter the contest. The first-, second- and third-place winners will be announced at 6 p.m.

Carolers will stroll along the sidewalks in the business area, and two big-screen TVs will be placed outside so that you can enjoy some of the holiday classic shows.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be set up in a photo booth on Deer Park Avenue, in front of the Fitness Incentive.

•Are you still trying to find something special for a friend or relative? I have been checking out some of the smaller boutiques around Babylon to give you an idea of what they carry.

Have you ever heard of a refill bar? I have to admit that was a new term for me. Check out O Beehave, at 32 Deer Park Avenue. It’s the first of its kind here in Babylon, a shop where you can refill all products for the bath, beauty and home. These items are environmentally safe. They are available here “on tap” to fill your own containers or select a “lifetime container.” The containers are refillable, custom-sized, botanically based and petroleum free. That means they will not add to all the plastics in our landfills and waterways!

The containers are attractive and their contents are good for your body and the earth. Stop in and say hello to Babylon native and owner Jeanine Schappert Longo. She will be happy to help you make your selections with products that are very competitively priced and effective.

•Another relatively new location is Sol y Luna Artisan Boutique, at 61 Deer Park Avenue and operated by Gina Gonzalez. In addition to owning the shop, Gina designs many of the products sold there, which include women’s clothing, home décor, handbags and accessories.

Most of the products have a distinctly Mexican flavor to them but can go anywhere and can be used for anything. One of the items that I liked was a dog carrier for smaller dogs, as well as a “no worries” bag.

Next week I’ll try to mention more Village shops. Gift certificates always make a welcome present!

•Have you received a phone call about the huge sweepstakes that you won? I’ve received several hundred such calls in the past two years. Usually, they tell me that I have won over a million dollars. Other callers may claim to be a government agency, such as the Treasury, the IRS, the Attorney General or one of many different organizations, such as Publishers Clearinghouse, that run contests like this. This time of year the scammers are out looking for the gullible and naïve people who believe that they have indeed won.

These callers can be very convincing. They also tend to have a slight accent. Many times they ask you to buy a yellow dot or green dot cash card for a certain amount of money. You don’t have to give them the card, they explain. That’s supposed to prove that they are on the up-and-up. They only want to see the card to confirm your identity. (They will ask for the card number, which is all they need to obtain the full amount on the card.)

Other callers will tell you they are calling from a medical group about the item you or your doctor ordered. This is another scam for braces and other medical equipment, and they are scamming Medicare or Medicaid.

One of the other callers tells you they are calling about your credit card. They won’t identify what credit card it is, but they say they have been trying to get hold of you and this is the last chance you will have to fix the card.

All of these scammers have one thing in common: they are counting on you to believe them and to give them information that will enable them to cheat you out of money. Be aware and simply hang up immediately. Most of them sound legitimate and a large percentage of the time their scams are successful. Do not get into a conversation with them—just hang up!

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