Today marks the much-anticipated, endlessly reported and bizarrely grim start of the holiday shopping season.
Americans leave Thanksgiving dinners to stand outside superstores. They bop each other over the head and ram strangers with shopping carts, frenziedly buying wide-screen TVs and must-have dolls. It is a sick spectacle, and it sets the tone for the entire month that follows.
If COVID-19 has done anything good, it’s put the brakes on this explosion of materialism. Unlike (cough, cough) some places, people here understand the virus is not a hoax. We won’t see hordes of humans pushed into glass doors like Walmart’s version of a Who concert.
Every year, merchants, town officials — and “06880” — urge local folks to buy local.
This year, it’s important more important than ever.
In fact, it’s crucial.
But saying it is one thing. How do we put our Christmas and Hanukkah money where our civic mouth is?
Jillian Elder can help.
The founder of Finding Westport — a website that for over 2 years has linked business owners and customers — created a special page for today and tomorrow. (Black Friday is followed immediately by Small Business Saturday — who knew?)
“When we need retail therapy, our friends on Main Street and the Post Road are there for us,” Jillian says. (Don’t forget Saugatuck!)
“Now is the time to return the favor, and let our friends know we are there for them.”
Jillian spent days asking stores about their Black Friday and Small Business Saturday plans.
“Finding Westport” includes hours of operations, special offers and sales, links to stores’ websites and gift cards, and pickup and delivery options.
Toys, apparel, jewelry, chocolates, honey, liquor, CBD — and just about anything else you’d give as a gift — is included. Click here for Jillian’s Black Friday and Small Business Saturday page.
That’s not all. Jillian compiled similar lists for Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford and Wilton. Click here for that page.
Sure, you could have spent last night wrapped in a blanket outside Best Buy. But — thanks to Jillian Elder — you know the best buys are right around the corner.
(PS: Jillian is still adding stores to the list. To be included, email firstname.lastname@example.org)