I believe it's terribly important to shop small and local - not just during the holidays but over the entire year. I admit to being an online shopper but only when I can't find the desired item in my city. There are many benefits to shopping small biz --- see for yourself by clicking here.
This year I suggest challenging yourself to shop small and local by using the following ideas for stocking stuffers, gifts and holiday trimmings:
* Patronize local boutiques, holiday markets and pop up shops.
* Shop local farm markets not only for your fruits and veggies but also small batch soaps and baked goods for fab hostess gifts.
* Check etsy for sellers in your area for unique handmade or vintage items which will allow you to take advantage of all the greatness of the site without shipping fees or wait time. Even if what you want on etsy is not in your local area, rest assured you're still supporting an independent seller.
* Buy gift memberships to local CSA's for the gourmand in your life.
* Local restaurant gift cards are always much appreciated gifts, especially when paired with an IOU for babysitting, if appropriate.
* Buy gift certificates for local experiences like winery tastings and tours, independent movie house tickets or a membership to a local museum.
Online Resources (just a few)
* Small Business Saturday is November 24th - check out the website for shops in your zip code and surrounding areas.
* American Design Club is an online shop dedicated to promoting independent artisans and crafters with an inventory of really rad items.
* Indie Collective is a "showcase of independent artists, artisans and designers."