What community newspapers have been preaching for years seems to have caught on. There is now a “Small Business Saturday,” which takes place nationwide today, Nov. 24. This follows “Black Friday,” which is allegedly the biggest big city shopping day of the year. Now that many chain stores are opening Thanksgiving, maybe we should call that one “Stuffing yourself Thursday.”
In communities such as South Whidbey, it’s small business every day of the week and during the holiday season particularly. Perhaps a visit to Toys ‘R Us is unavoidable to purchase something special for tykes brainwashed by TV ads, but for the rest of us, it’s all available right here on South Whidbey Island.
It goes without saying that Langley is our shopping mecca, with two entire streets lined with interesting shops and things to see, eat and drink. Business doors are decorated for the holidays, the tree lighting ceremony tonight and other gala events are scheduled through the season, including the parade Saturday, Dec. 1 at 11 a.m.
Just don’t confine your holiday shopping to Langley. Freeland is teeming with businesses offering the practical — hardware and food gifts —- to specialty antique and crafts stores, and even a place to decorate your own plate or pot for someone special. When driving through Clinton, the secret is to just slow down and see what they have, from a beautiful doll shop to a place where you can sip coffee while perusing the book shelves.
Also keep an eye on the newspaper’s calendar listings and ads for special sales at Bayview featuring arts and crafts, as well as a terrific plant nursery, bicycle shop and other small businesses. The Greenbank Farm bustles all holiday season with arts, crafts and specialty foods for sale.
The list of South Whidbey’s unique small businesses is endless. Look at the brochures at the ferry dock, do some Googling and dig out the Holiday Gift Guide included in the Nov. 21 South Whidbey Record.
For unique gifts that please everyone there are few better places to live. Save gas, ferry money, frustration, and keep your tax dollars working locally. Shop South Whidbey and have a very merry Christmas indeed.