Editorial: Shop Locally, Give Locally

Every day is for shopping small and shopping locally.

An effort to support locally owned businesses has resulted in the recognition of Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year that is Nov. 25. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is promoted as a day of national zeal for shopping. Presumably the next day shoppers can focus on local shopping.

There is a joy to shopping in local stores at the holidays, to walking along a sidewalk with the streets decked out for the holidays, to being greeting by someone likely to be the owner of the store, to finding gifts that are not mass-produced.

We all benefit when local stores thrive, when local business districts beckon.

Locally owned retail shops, services, restaurants depend on vibrant local communities to thrive. Most small, locally owned businesses invest in community, helping to transform our towns and communities with a sense of place.

Supporting small businesses, locally owned businesses, has to be more than a one-day affair. And in this area, there doesn’t have to be anything small about shopping locally.

But still, local families will shop and exchange gifts during the next month, spending tens of millions of dollars in a variety of places.

One way to be sure holiday shopping comes with some holiday spirit is to do a portion of your shopping in some of the area’s locally owned stores. There is special holiday ambiance available by shopping in the heart of a town that is decked out for the season. Small retail shops are part of defining any community. Their livelihood depends on the livability and quality of the neighborhoods around them. A small business owner pays attention to every detail in his or her business in a way that no chain can.

The small business owner is often the leader for fundraising for local charities, for fire and rescue service, for local schools and in organizing holiday events.

Local shoppers should be sure to save some shopping time and dollars for local stores. Spend some time shopping in your own community, and also plan an excursion to a nearby town to check out the holiday spirit there.

See Connection’s Holiday Calendar for great celebrations near you.

  • Fairfax County: www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2017/nov/16/holiday-calendar-2017/

  • Arlington: www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2017/nov/15/arlington-holiday-calendar-2017/

  • Potomac: www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2017/nov/15/potomac-almanac-holiday-calendar-2017/

  • Alexandria: www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2017/nov/20/alexandria-holiday-calendar-2017/

— Mary Kimm

mkimm@connectionnewspapers.com

Short Deadline for Children’s Edition

During the last week of each year, this newspaper devotes its pages to the creativity of local students and children. The results are always remarkable. It is a keepsake edition for many families. Even readers without children of that age spend time admiring and chuckling over the issue. The annual Children's Connection (including Children’s Gazette, Children’s Almanac and Children’s Centre View) is a tradition of well over a decade.

We publish artwork, poetry, essays, creative writing, opinion pieces, short stories, photography, photos of sculpture or other creative efforts.

We ask that all submissions be digital so they can be sent via email, dropbox or google drive or delivered on CD or flash drive. Writing should be submitted in rich text format (.rtf). Artwork should be photographed or scanned and provided in jpeg format.

We welcome contributions from public and private schools, individuals and homeschoolers. To be published, we must have first and last name of the student. Please include the student’s age and/or grade, school attended and town of residence, plus the name of the school, name of teacher and town of school location. Please provide submissions by Friday, Dec. 1.

Email submissions for the Children's Edition to the following editors:

  • For Burke, Clifton, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Great Falls, Herndon, Lorton, McLean, Reston, or Springfield, email to Kemal Kurspahic at kemal@connectionnewspapers.com.

  • For Alexandria, Arlington, Centreville, Chantilly, Mount Vernon, or Potomac, Md., email to Steven Mauren at smauren@connectionnewspapers.com.

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