As a kid, I was a huuuuuge fan of David Letterman. I watched "Late Night" religiously, then followed him over to the "Late Show". Then I got old and incapable of staying up past ten o'clock. Phoo. But I still love the top ten lists. Anyway, I've been thinking about how to convince your average Black Friday warrior to hit up a craft fair or small business instead of the usual madness. So here's my Top Ten reasons to Think Outside the Big Box this Black Friday:
10. No one's ever been trampled to death at a craft fair.
9. No hordes of crazy people fighting over the latest "it" toy, gadget, etc....
8. Some craft fairs have yummy treats! Cupcakes, artisanal chocolate, jam, hot sauce, etc..Try finding a tasty baked good at Best Buy.
7. All the cool kids are doing it.
6. Everyone is going to want to know where you got all that cool stuff. Anyone can wait hours on end in a freezing parking lot to save a few bucks on a flatscreen, but craftspeople and local shops have cool stuff you've never heard of. Be a trendsetter, and one-up that relative that buys everyone boring gift cards.
5. However, if you are truly, totally stumped as to what your giftee might like, many small businesses and Etsy offer a gift card option.
4. Do you make cool stuff? Some crafty folks are open to barter. I know I am. By the way, I can't crochet or knit to save my life, but love scarves and those little figures.
3. Big box stores treat their employees like shit. I can vouch for this one. Especially now that Black Friday has bled into Thanksgiving Day. Do you REALLY need to deprive someone else of a holiday to save a few bucks on some crap? Think of your karma!
2. Craftspeople and small businesses do not expect you to get up at zero dark thirty to shop. Sleep in, have a leftover turkey omelet and join us at a DECENT hour!!
And the number one reason......
1. Money spent at local businesses and with local craftspeople stays in the community! Money spent at Walmart will probably just buy one of the Waltons another ivory butt-scratcher for the private jet. However, if you buy something from me or another craftsperson/artist/small business owner, you're helping keep the lights on, paying for dance lessons, putting a turkey on the table, maybe an extra gift under the tree for the kids.
So think small, think local this holiday season. We appreciate it more than a billionaire appreciates another ivory butt scratcher.