Shop Locally!

This is a great year to help our local merchants have a happy holiday season
By Joanne Peterson | Nov 20, 2012

Thanksgiving comes pre-loaded with complexities. Most of them are a pleasure.

There’s the decision about where to have dinner, who’s fixing what dishes, whether the baby still will fit into her mother’s old highchair at Grandma’s house.  Will there be enough left-overs for everyone to take home?

Will there be a lovely moment before dinner begins when everyone around the table mentions something he or she is thankful for? (Kids are the best at this.) Has the toy collection been updated, so restless small people can be excused from the dinner table long before the big people are finished eating? Is there enough coffee?

I love this about Thanksgiving:  I love being with family and taking seriously the day’s opportunity to focus on my many blessings. I’ve met several people lately who have commented that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday—the turkey, the cranberries, all the American trimmings of the traditional holiday.  I don’t blame them.

The trouble is, the focus on “after-Thanksgiving sales” has become ridiculous—and advertising begins ridiculously early.  Even worse, the sales now begin on Thanksgiving Day.

While the rest of us are visiting over dessert, watching football or playing board games with the kids, stores are opening.

Different stores feature different hours, with some employees probably totally giving up on spending time around the family table, some employees threatening to strike when they hear what hours they are expected to work-- others choosing to miss out on tradition for over-time pay.

And while most stores don’t open on Thanksgiving, they certainly open early the morning after.  I can’t imagine what time store employees wake up and set out for their jobs Friday.

If people are going to be waiting in their tents outside the doors of businesses, plenty of employees need to be on hand to cater to their needs no later than sunrise, right? It makes me tired to think about it.

It’s not too early for my annual suggestion that we shop locally. Sure, it’s exhilarating to stand in a block-long queue outside a big-box store in order to shoulder our way to one of the 40-inch flat-screen TVs on sale only for two hours at phenomenal savings. Or is it? No.

This is a great year to help our local merchants have a happy holiday season. Despite the upheaval of Main Street, park where you can and walk through town, checking out windows displays and entering doorways into businesses that count on local shoppers.

Buy something of quality from a merchant who will take time to visit with you and help select a great gift.

Edmonds offers a local book shop, toy shop, wine shop and kitchen shop, numerous clothing and housewares shops-- plenty from which to choose.

And during our shopping forays the next few weeks, we can enjoy the ambience of our fine town while ensuring that our merchants will be with us next year, too.

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