The Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday.

Christmas time is here! Now that Thanksgiving is in the books, we have just a few weeks before Santa's big arrival. Of course, Thanksgiving was later this year so we that means we have even less time to get those presents under the tree. While I do knock out some shopping at the national stores, I find that I'm more excited to present a gift that was bought from a local store.

See, I grew up in a tiny town where the only "national" name we had was our lone Subway. Even then, that Subway was owned by the family of our high school janitor so it was basically our local sandwich shop. Everything else was a small, independent business owned by people who went to my church or were parents of my classmates. We relied heavily on tourists to come into town and spend money, but residential cash flow was our bloodline.

That being said, I am a firm believer that shopping local is better for these reasons...

1. The Novelty

In my opinion the best reaction you can get on Christmas morning is "Oh my gosh, I love it! Where did you get this?!" Everyone wants to be unique and get something unique as well. In fact, I just recently got a goodie box from my mom loaded with items from my hometown. Now, I could get apple butter at any grocery store, but there's nothing that tastes like the apple butter from home made from scratch.

2. It's Neighborly

We all live in the same area which binds us together. So, when you think about it, the people who run these shops and stores are our neighbors. They are people who depend on us to keep those doors open. And for many of these business owners, that business is their biggest dream. We can keep that dream alive for them!

3. The Community

When you buy something local, your money is going directly into the community, and not into Jeff Bezos' pocket. This is the easiest way to take care of our home. It's a way to give back. And isn't that what the holidays are all about?

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