Kids need to play. It is vitally important to their development. But they don't need to play with Elmo or a hunk of plastic that recites the alphabet with a twang or a drawl. Kids need to play with us and with each other and all alone.
Cut out the middle-man. With the internet, you don't have to wade through the booths at a craft fair to buy direct from artists. Etsy.com is the big gorilla in this space, with more than 6 million customers.
Shopping small is not always easy, but when it comes to buying for pets, options abound. Almost every town has its own independently-owned pet boutique, sometimes just around the corner from their big-box counterparts.
The men and women who launch these businesses are examples of entrepreneurship and models of the American dream. Their innovations make our neighborhoods better places to live and strengthen our economy. Remember them and shop local on November 30 -- and throughout the year.
The average Washingtonian spends $700 on gifts between Small Business Saturday and Christmas. If 25 percent (less than $200) of this were shifted to our local, independent stores over $300 million would go back into the streets of D.C.