The Doctor is IN

Keen Observations on Life … Whether You Need Them or Not

Support Your Community: Shop Small on Saturday

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When I was a kid, my mother and I were the only two in our family living in North Carolina, so we spent decades of my life traveling to Norfolk and Virginia Beach to be with family on holidays. Thanksgiving was no different, and we had so much fun. As a single mother, my mom only got bare-bones holidays off, so Thanksgiving day was our travel day.

Which meant that Thanksgiving Friday, we piled in the car with my Granny Duck, my aunt and two cousins (it was tight with six of us … thank God for bench front seats) and hit the “big” mall: Lynnhaven, in Virginia Beach. Those days are a blur of exhaustion, shopping bags and packages, Sbarro pizza and pasta, and Mother’s Records. Man, those were the days.

But those days are gone. When my soul mate and I had our son 14 years ago, I put the kibosh on traveling at Christmas. Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is typically at my MILs half an hour away, or at my SILs in Charlotte. And nobody in either location is likely to get up at 5 am for Black Friday sales. Thank you baby Jesus.

Adult Me is way smarter and more efficient than Youth Me, and Adult Me plans out shopping through the year for the holidays so no rush on what the world now calls Black Friday is necessary.

I LOVE, love, love the whole concept of Small Business Saturday, however, and welcome the change of pace. I love keeping my dollars in my community and supporting local craftspeople and artisans. I love dining in community restaurants where I’m likely to run into folks I know. I love being able to leave our cars in the garage and bike or walk to a local business to reduce our carbon footprint. Don’t get me wrong: I also believe in global commerce. But on Small Business Saturday, I happily embrace the power of local.

American Express has a handy Web tool that allows you to search for businesses in your community who are participating in Small Business Saturday. Check it out, then check them out. Happy local shopping!

PS. While you’re considering what gifts to buy for the holidays, you might consider donating to your local homeless shelter or food bank in someone else’s name. Or supporting your local national public radio stations (we are sustainers at WUNC and WCPE). The arts could also use a bolster, and season memberships are a wonderful way to share a gift with a loved one while supporting your local museum, performing arts theatre, or symphony.

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Author: Dolly R. Sickles

Writer, mother, wife, adventurer, agent of change, advocate, ally, volunteer, instructor ... I'm never bored. I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense under the name Becky Moore, and children’s literature under the name Dolly Dozier. You can also check me out at MacMillan Publishing’s Heroes & Heartbreakers, where I’m a romance blogger. During the fall and spring, you can find me in the classroom teaching other folks how to follow their dreams or how to fund their community outreach at Wake Technical Community College, and Central Carolina Community College. During the summer and at random times during the year, I'm out adventuring with my family.

One thought on “Support Your Community: Shop Small on Saturday

  1. Love all your suggestions for gifts to support the arts, public radio and local food banks. Since I live in a small town I like to support our small businesses and look forward to Small Business Saturday. BUT, I shop locally all year long too! It takes more than one day to keep the doors open 🙂

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