.yuletide greetings.

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castle in the air is signing off to enjoy the holiday with family and friends. and the snow. i adore snow!  castle in the air will return to the internet following christmas. so from our family to yours – merry christmas!!

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.here we go a wassailing.

are you ready? many stores have already made the switch from fall to the holidays and christmas cheer already. many people reluctantly allow themselves to hum along with the carols wafting around them as the season ramps up to full speed on black friday. i, on the other hand, have been listening to christmas music for two weeks now. crazy, i know.

we all know the order of events. thanksgiving. making a striking plan. standing in line for hours upon hours. battling for that specific good. winning (hopefully). standing in line for hours upon hours. purchasing said good. checking out. (did your cashier just roll their eyes?) scurrying to the car. go to next shopping destination. start process over again. -sigh- it’s exhausting, isn’t it?

what if you could change the way you shop this holiday season? what if you could get a personable experience while shopping? what if the company you are purchasing from actually cared about you and your happiness?

i encourage you to shop small this year, to take the time to find those little boutiques and see what they have to offer. the quality, craftsmanship, and the customer service might leave you feeling a little bit warmer inside. after all, it’s not just the opening of the gift that leaves you feeling cheery – it’s the experience of everything wrapped into one.

so while you are shopping and trying to decide who has the better deal and who’s door you’ll be lining up in front of friday morning (or thursday night in some cases), don’t forget about the little guys. the small business that want your experience with them to be more than just a dash and pay. they want you as a lifelong customer, client, and friend. why? because they care. be sure to check out http://www.etsy.com for awesome small business shopping options, too.

so remember: shop small, not mall.