Thursday, November 24, 2011

Small Business Saturday Gift Ideas

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone is enjoying time with their loved ones and indulging in some extra pie.  We're rushing through preparations here so we can relax and watch the parade before the crowd arrives.  My mom has already cooked & carved 2 smaller turkeys and is getting the BIG guy ready to go in the oven.  I look forward to the chaos of this day all year.  
And as you're browsing through the crazy amount of sale flyers that came with today's newspaper, please keep Small Business Saturday in mind.   


My car was in the shop this past week, and when I went to pick it up, I ended up in a conversation with the owner about how times have changed in the 30 years since he opened his business.  And it got me thinking.  


I had planned to support Small Business Saturday, but by "support" I meant shop at my favorite little gift boutiques in town.  I will still be doing this, but I am also thinking outside the box to include other small, local, family-run businesses in my community.  Gifts don't have to come from shops that traditionally cater to holiday shoppers (and my friend at the auto body shop would be ecstatic to set you up with a gift card! And no lines!)


Here are some ideas I came up with to satisfy my shopping list. Please add your own in the comments.
Gift certificates 
lessons (swimming, ballet, piano, baseball, painting, sewing, etc.)
barber
car wash or detailing
gym, stroller strides, or zumba classes
paintball or laser tag
local hardware store
computer repair or tune-up
salon or spa
cleaning service
local theater or art gallery
bed & breakfast or small inn
landscaper/snow shoveler
handyman/carpentry work
favorite diner or breakfast spot
carpet cleaning
pet grooming
florist
furniture or home decor


If you don't want to just hand somebody a gift card (I'm all about having something to unwrap.), most of these businesses sell something to pair up- fancy shampoo with the salon gift certificate, or a new flash drive with a computer tune-up.  


Shop for your treats at the local bakery instead of the super store, and remember the family-owned drug store when you need wrapping paper or a bottle of perfume. 


And if you're looking for something even more personal, ask around about local artists, craftspeople, and musicians.  Or search etsy. 


It may be more time consuming than ordering everything from Amazon, and I'm not looking forward to all of the in-and-out of the car with the boys, but I know this will make gift giving feel even better this year.



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