This Holiday Season, Shop Small and Shop Local

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Photo courtesy of The New General Store

Long Island, like many places in this country, is well-known for its shopping malls: Green Acres, Americana, Roosevelt Field, The Source, Broadway, Walt Whitman, Smith Haven and the Tangers. As I write these words, there are scores mobs of shoppers scouring every nook and cranny in every shopping mall on Long Island in search of discounts. The American bargain hunting day-after-Thanksgiving ritual of Black Friday has even reached across the pond to Great Britain!?!? I am not a good consumer, and I happily resolve to never take part in the annual frenzy. In 2010 American Express conceived the antidote to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday. Promoting the initiative through social media, American Express encourages holiday shoppers to patronize small, local brick-and-mortar businesses. While Long Island might be saturated with shopping malls, we are thankfully still flush with many Mom and Pop businesses that need your patronage tomorrow.

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Photo courtesy of The New General Store

The New General Store, a seasonal pop-up and online shop, is hosting its annual Holiday Market on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the farmhouse in Yaphank. Started by designers Tricia Foley and Roy Hardin in 2009, the New General Store stocks provisions both elegant in their simplicity and practical in their design. This market features holiday gifts for the home cook, gardener and hostess. They will also be selling homemade hot soup and cider with those proceeds going to the Yaphank Historical Society.

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Herb Spray by the Peconic River Herb Farm• Photograph by Doug Young

The Peconic River Herb Farm in Calverton is just about to shutter up for the winter and is having a last-call type of day tomorrow. Stop by their farm, on the banks of the Peconic River, and pick up a one-of-a-kind gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list. Eclectic and bucolic, the 14-acre herb is hands-down one of my favorite spots on Long Island. They will be stoking a bonfire and serving hot cider, too.

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