If you want to go big this holiday season, shop small

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It just amazes me that when the holiday season begins, how quickly it happens. It seems like summer came and went like the breeze. I was walking out of a store and saw a huge sign that read, “Only 47 days until Christmas.” That seems like it was a week ago. But like many things in life, the time is here and it is now and East County is brimming with holiday spirit, and the events are coming fast and furious, along with the shopping traffic.

It just amazes me that when the holiday season begins, how quickly it happens. It seems like summer came and went like the breeze. I was walking out of a store and saw a huge sign that read, “Only 47 days until Christmas.” That seems like it was a week ago. But like many things in life, the time is here and it is now and East County is brimming with holiday spirit, and the events are coming fast and furious, along with the shopping traffic.

El Cajon’s Mother Goose Parade was a wonderful event this year and I stayed for the tree lighting ceremony. It was a beautiful day for it and it gave me a lot of time to catch up with some great friends, and a special day having my granddaughter with me. She had a blast, we got our faces painted together and she even got me on the Graviton ride. A first time for her and the last time for me, for sure.

I want to take the time and say that I hope everyone has the best Thanksgiving possible. This is one of the holidays where there is no division amongst us, well, unless you are brave enough to talk politics at the dinner table. But all jokes aside, Happy Thanksgiving. May it be a long weekend filled with happiness and family fun. I know even though there have been some major changes in my family with my daughter and two grandsons moving a few states away, I still have plenty to be thankful about.

For you Black Friday shoppers. Good luck. But while you are out this weekend shopping, remember that this Saturday is Small Business Saturday, and you do not have to wait until Saturday to support your local small businesses. They are always ready and waiting for you before and after the one day acknowledgement that does not even come close to telling people how important it is to support the small businesses in and around your community. Did you know that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, that two-thirds of that money stays local. The diversity of products that you can find, the knowledge of the entrepreneur that started the small business is unequal to anything you can find in a major retail chain. Depending on where you shop you can also contribute to the welfare and continuance of non-profits in the community that need your help. And for every small business that survives, and that is a phenomenal feat for someone to say they have done, it brings more local business into your area.

I realize that when it comes to gift buying you cannot always only shop at your local small business, but when you are looking for that special one of a kind gift, your local shop owners are the place to browse. When you do not know what to give someone, let your local small business owner help you find something. Other than large stores, they will take the time to get to know you, who you are shopping for and help you find something that will have meaning and purpose behind it. In most cases, if they do not have what suits your needs, they know another small business that does and are more than willing to send you to another local business rather than selling you something just for the sake of it.

So to go big this holiday season, go small. I never regret it and have found not just gifts, but treasures that last a lifetime.

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