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Great things come in small packages. Right? Sure they do. My favorite presents have always come in small boxes and sparkled. I think most women would agree, so the men out there might want to take some notes before they begin their holiday shopping extravaganza.

I’d like to expand the scope of small packages to small businesses. The most cherished gifts come from small local shops and not big box stores. There’s a special touch of thoughtfulness when a gift comes from a small boutique or local artisan.

The recipient instantly feels a greater sense of gratitude knowing that the item was not purchased from an end cap at a chain store. No one wants to see their present splashed on the front page of a slick circular advertised as a weekend special or deal of the day.

I have a tip for Thanksgiving weekend that will shelter you from the crazy hustle and bustle, yet yield some great ideas for your holiday shopping list.

On Saturday, Nov. 26, there’s an event called Small Business Saturday. This is a nationwide annual event that celebrates and supports local businesses and their importance in the communities. The movement was started in 2010 as a way to encourage shoppers to shop small as they kick off the holiday shopping the weekend after Thanksgiving.

The businesses of the ViBe Creative District at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront will be throwing a district-wide Small Business Saturday event for holiday shoppers. You can start your local holiday shopping spree at 1701 Baltic Ave., a collaborative co-working space, that will be hosting a pop-up marketplace with 25 vendors selling paintings, handmade jewelry, locally roasted coffee and more.

In addition to finding some unique items from local artisans and boutiques, there will be a scavenger hunt throughout the ViBe district with prizes from great businesses like Vintage Wild Orchid, French Twist and Esoteric. Many of the stores will be offering special one-day discounts, too, so you can save money while buying that one-of-a kind gift.

I would also encourage you to check out your favorite locally-owned stores in your own neighborhood. In the past, I’ve shopped “Small Business Saturday” at Hilltop and have scored some great bargains along with a relaxing horse-drawn carriage ride with the kids.

Rather than parking a mile away from the mall and dodging crazy holiday dazed drivers, you can leisurely stroll on sidewalks from store to store enjoying the joyful sounds of holiday music and seeing friendly familiar faces of store owners.

So, my holiday shopping tip is to shop small. When I say small, I mean local and not a big box store. No one really wants that generic boxed perfume set or pair of fuzzy slippers that’s located in a huge bin at the front of the store.

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