Coming from a very small town, I know that shopping small and local is the perfect way to knock out that Christmas list.

For those of you who don't know, I'm a small town mountain girl. How small? My high school graduating class was 48 people and it was the only school in town. I love the town I grew up in for many reasons, but my favorite part is that it's unlike any place on earth. It's unique.

Like many of my classmates, I got a job in town at a small candy shop. We specialized in old fashioned candy and even sold homemade fudge that the owner made herself. We thrived on tourist season, but were sustained by locals shopping on a regular basis. This became more evident during the winter when tourists couldn't always make it up the mountain due to snow.

That's why I believe that Small Business Saturday is so important.

The businesses in our area need our support. The owners are our neighbors, family, and friends. Not to mention, the items you find in these "mom-n-pop shops" and unique boutiques can't be found elsewhere. In my experience, the local items that I gift are always the ones that are fought over and get the best reviews. People want gifts that no one else has. It's human nature to want to set ourselves apart.

So stay local and see that long Christmas list disappear.

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