A day of feasting is followed by — shopping!

Nov 20, 2012

There are several paths that consumers follow when it comes to making Christmas special for their loved ones.

There are the hard-core shoppers who make a mad dash for the many bargains available on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Other shoppers wouldn’t dream of joining the Black Friday fray, and instead prefer a leisurely experience poking through local shops to search for just the right gift without having to fight the crowd. A third group

believes the perfect gift is something hand made with a special attention paid to the personal preferences of the recipient.

For all three groups, Thanksgiving marks a start of the holiday shopping season.

Black Friday has grown to be one of largest shopping day of the year. The wee hours of the morning, and now even on Thanksgiving Day, is marked by big sales and even bigger crowds of individuals standing in line to take advantage of the sales before the advertised items are all gone.

Many have honed their Black Friday shopping to a science — one that results in a triple when it comes to results. Christmas shopping is done early; gifts are purchased at bargain prices and top-selling items that might be hard to find later on are purchased, wrapped and waiting for that special someone on Christmas Day.

In recent years, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been dubbed Small Business Saturday.

While many of the big box or regional chain stores are destinations on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is set aside to celebrate the local business owners who offer unique items, services and options. These options not only offer a unique shopping experience, but supporting them helps celebrate the businesses that make each of our communities unique.

In Haywood County, there are many retailers that fit this description, from the shops in Maggie Valley to those on the streets of Waynesville and Canton. Even the smaller communities in the county have stores that offer specialty items or a personalized service that has been part of a family business for generations.

It is this group of stores that have struggled when the economy trended downward. They were here for us before the major retailers discovered Haywood County or any community within its boundaries.

Think for a moment what our community would be like without them this weekend and then spend available resources accordingly.

Even for those who prefer to give a handmade gift lovingly made to suit, time is running short to complete large-scale projects. There’s likely to be materials available either Friday or Saturday to help build momentum.

Thanksgiving Day on Thursday is set aside for family and to give thanks for all that is right within our family, community, state and nation. After the conversations and feasting of the day comes to the end, the minds of many will turn to one thing — shopping. Whichever form you prefer, enjoy the experience.