This year, the official kickstart of the holiday season began just hours after the last turkey and dressing settled and the pumpkin pie was put back into the refrigerator. So whether or not you took part in the Black Friday affair this year, it has officially come and gone. This year, many of the larger retailer's 5 a.m. sales began much earlier, at midnight. Perhaps this was an attempt to keep mayhem out of the stores.
Judging by the Friday traffic and crowds in many area shopping centers, holiday shoppers were out in full force in hopes of snatching up the best buys or maybe just the larger items on their list that were in shortest supply.
But Black Friday isn't for everyone. Many opt to shop smaller stores because they like to visually search for unique gifts at good prices and many do not know what type of gift to buy until something catches their eye.
All weekend, from Ash Flat to downtown Hardy and everywhere in between, shoppers could be seen bustling in and out of stores. After the shopping trips to larger retailers, many opted to go into smaller specialty stores to purchase those one of kind gifts for so many on their shopping lists. Unique gifts are a special part of Christmas and whether it be handmade items in Hardy or hard to find jewelry, candy, cell phones and clothing in Highland to western wear, snazzy purses and home decor in Ash Flat, our area boasts a wide array of options.
One local shopper said, "I just like to give things that everyone can't buy, it seems more personal." She chose to shop in one of the many downtown Hardy merchants, while others graced the Highland Square for one of several advertised sales.
Perhaps a day shopping without the crowds in Sharp County will take away of bit of the inevitable holiday stress.
So after, the electronics and cameras are packed under the tree, beat the huge crowds and head out to some of the local businesses. They are the lifeblood of our community. Whether it's a candle, or a specially framed piece of art, one-of-a-kind items are available without ever leaving the comfort of Sharp County.
Anyone can give mass produced gifts, but the personalization of something more unusual will likely be a favorite of many on your gift list.