Here in our little town in southern Vermont, there is a constant reminder to “shop local.”  I am not always great at this, and I do enjoy a good trip to the mall every now and then.

Yesterday, as I wrapped all the gifts I’d squirreled away in various spots throughout the year, I did my normal check.  Have I balanced things well between three kids?  Have I missed anyone?  Like most years, it turns out that a bit of adjustment would be a good idea… and today would be the best day to get those final gifts squared away. 

My daughter also knew she needed to get two more gifts.  Son number one and his girlfriend are always game for an outing, too.  I poised the option of driving an hour south to our closest mall. My son’s girlfriend noted that her parents would not be too thrilled if she went:  the entire state of Massachusetts is shown as red on the current COVID maps. 

“What about downtown?” my sage son asked.  “What would you find at the mall that you can’t find here?  What exactly are you looking for?  Why not try here first, and then drive to the mall later this week if you really need to?” 

Turns out that he was completely right.  (Actually, he most often is right, although perhaps we don’t need to stress that point with him too much, I think.)  Within less time than we would have spent driving to and from the mall, we completed all the shopping here, in our own little downtown.

It gained me an “extra” three hours—which I spent making two wreaths and two greens arrangements. 

A silver lining of time and supporting local merchants makes me happy!