Shopping Past and Present

Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah! It’s been a rough 2020 for all of us and I’m not exempt. I haven’t felt much like writing, or doing anything else, for the past few weeks, but now Christmas is at hand, and even though it will be different this year, we will still celebrate the birth of our King in any way we can. Barring inclement weather, our family is going to have our own Christmas Eve service around the fire pit in my daughter’s yard, a true Coronavirus Christmas. I’m looking forward to that. My family is creative.

And then there is the commercial end of Christmas. Although it certainly is not as important as the birth of Jesus, it is still something we enjoy. I feel for the small business owners who are overshadowed by Amazon and other large corporations vying for our dollars. I may be giving away my age but I remember the days of riding around and around the mall parking lots from Thanksgiving until around mid-January waiting for someone to pull out of their spaces so we could hurriedly shoot in before someone else got it. Those were the (pre-confinement) days. Sometimes I yearn for those “old days” of shopping when we had to navigate through the lines of fidgety, excited children waiting to whisper in Santa’s ear and maybe score a candy cane, or the times when I was the one holding the hand of one of those children. Bittersweet nostalgia. Now I’m pestering my children to give me suggestions for Christmas gifts that I can purchase online.

COVID 19 has left its mark on virtually everything.  It has left us paralyzed, helpless and confused. As I watch small businesses and restaurants suffer, I have decided to try as hard as I can to support local businesses or at least purchase things that are made in the USA, which is very hard to do, sometimes. I have not been particularly successful at doing this, myself, but I am trying. If we commit to helping our businesses here, we should be ready to pay a little extra for our gifts because these products are usually a bit higher priced than those that have been imported. Many small stores are developing an online presence, but we may have to do some searching. If we are to survive, we must support each other in any way we can. So shop online at smaller stores whenever possible. Get some takeout to keep our restaurants in business. Every little bit helps.

At the risk of sounding, well, opportunistic, I will include links to my books for you. They make great stocking stuffers or gifts. If you don’t like what I have to offer, please purchase from other small businesses. My books are not sold in brick and mortar chain bookstores, but they are in a few local, independent ones: Rose Garden Boutique in Louisburg, NC, has the two children’s books. Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC, has The Town of Alpaca and The Prettiest House on the Block, and SoSo Books in Raleigh, NC and Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC have all three. If these stores are convenient, please look there first. The links below are to Amazon, but the books are also available at https://www.barnesandnoble.com and https://www.walmart.com.

Stay safe and healthy and have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate.

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