Last Friday was Black Friday. I don't go near a store on that day, though I have friends who do and they love it. It works for them. However, I do enjoy the following day—the day we're encouraged to "shop local, shop small" and help out smaller businesses.
So last Saturday I did just that. And what fun I had. Not only did I find unique and fun Christmas gifts for family and friends, but I had great conversations with shopkeepers and staff in the stores. And as a bonus, they offered to beautifully gift wrap (tags and all) each present. I don't get that kind of time and attention at the big-box stores. Mind you, I am all for saving money and use the big-box stores for many of my other needs.
Somehow, however, I just enjoyed my day so much Saturday. I told the shop owners that I was shopping local, shopping small; and they said they had heard that from other customers throughout the day and really appreciated it. I came home with lovely gifts, beautifully wrapped, and with a spirit so jazzed by good conversation and a feeling of helping small business owners keep their doors open just a bit longer. That made me quite happy.
As with so much of life, it isn't either/or (big-box stores vs. small businesses) but it's both/and. Each experience has its own rewards.