There are plenty of options to shop locally this holiday season | Editorial

By starting the consumer shopping frenzy called Black Friday a day early, several large retailers are being criticized for eating away at Thanksgiving Day, a traditional time for family gatherings, feasting and reflection,

Whidbey residents can easily avoid the madness and keep the holidays merry by shopping on the island.

Whidbey Island has an abundance of unique shops and is great for thoughtful gift items all season long.

This weekend brings us Small Business Saturday. It’s a nationwide day in which shoppers are encouraged to browse independent businesses in their own backyards.

The Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce programs in place in hopes of luring shoppers into local businesses.

The Great Wish List Assist is basically a gift registry. Participants fill out a wish list and leave it at a store of their choice.

Then, gift givers can go and request the list to ensure that certain someone will get exactly what he or she wants for the holidays.

There’s also the aptly-named Shop Local Campaign. For those who shop in the 98277 area code, or with chamber members, they can save receipts dated between Nov. 29 - Dec. 31. Then they can take them to the chamber and for every $50 spent with a merchant in the area, they receive a ticket to win the Holiday Gift Tree.

The drawing will be on Jan. 16 at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge.

Holiday shopping on the island helps to maintain and build the Christmas spirit.

There are no monster traffic snarls, crowds of sweaty shoppers or fisticuffs over a handful of discounted electronics.

This year, enjoy the community with fellow islanders, glimpse Whidbey’s magnificent scenery, take in the Christmas lights and decorations and maybe stop by to chat with friends at a coffee shop.

And, there are other reasons to shop Whidbey, such as supporting the island’s economy, the local tax base, and so on.

Most importantly, there truly is great shopping on Whidbey Island, whether you are in search of books, decorations, antiques, jewelry or something else. Shops, galleries and studios are filled with the wares of artists, craftsmen, farmers and vintners.

Enjoy the holidays. Shop at home.


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