Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Support Local Stores

I love the internet. I write all day. I surf when stuck. I love my computer. So I’ve gotten into the cycle of buying gifts on line. It’s easy. I point, click, add my visa numbers, even have it all wrapped, shipped and done! But as easy as it is, I feel a small loss. I am not connecting with a store shop owner. I am not seeing all of the lovely gifts displayed in artistic ways. I do not wonder at the holiday lights or decorations. So I took a stroll around town to get a deeper sense of the holidays.

I started at Henry’s Toy Shop. I fell in love. It’s a cute, small, but filled to the brim toy store. The owners are there everyday with a smile and a new gadget for you to try. The young people they employ are happy and helpful. I loved it. I bought three gifts, one for a birthday present, and one for each of my two kids for Christmas. I had one wrapped, the other two placed in the bag.

Two days later, after having the gifts hidden under a blanket in the back of my car, I retrieved the red bag to place it in the hiding spot for the big day. But to my dismay, one of my gifts was missing. I searched the car. I searched the bag, sure enough, it was gone. So I popped into Henry’s Toys store to see if by chance the young man who had wrapped my gift, had left one aside. Nope. It was not there. The owner asked what had happened and I told her the story.

She immediately checked, but it was gone. And there were no more left in the store. But she ordered a new one for me, free of charge. I stood there, surprised. She was taking me for my word. I could be lying. I could be trying to swindle a free toy. But she insisted that I get a new one for free. Would my cold, faceless internet stores do this? I think not.

I have switched my cold, key, computer buying to small town store supporting and I love it! I hope you all enjoy the holidays as I have. See the lights and the decorations that the small stores in your hometown have artistically put up for your enjoyment. Talk to the store owners. Smile with them. Stroll with coffee in hand, or in my case, coffee and umbrella! But most of all, get connected to your town and support the people who make it lovely.

Happy Holidays,
Angie Azur