I've made no secret of enjoying online shopping, especially when it comes to Christmas. I love our local shopping mall but I make it a point to stay away from Thanksgiving until about January. I'm not saying I recommend this behavior. I'm just saying that I believe that the Winter holidays should be about love and goodwill to one's fellow creatures and the Mall at Christmas does not exactly reinforce that feeling in me.
Also, as a generally shy person, I find online shopping delightfully devoid of challenging social interactions. I adore finding quirky new online stores, exciting bargains, free shipping offers. I love watching the boxes arrive and pile up as Christmas approaches.
I had a nightmare last night that Christmas was only a few days away and I hadn't done any shopping. I awoke with a sense of impending dread. And then a thought. A "what if?"
What if my family made this Christmas an Ellicott City Christmas? What if we all agreed to do all our holiday shopping there? What if we scoped out the shops that have re-opened and told eachother, "I'd really love this _____ from ________." Or visited the Saturday market and picked up some things, or the shops of displaced merchants at Turf Valley.
What kind of impact could we make if we made a conscious decision to shop Ellicott City for Christmas, Hanukkah, birthday gifts and more?
We've all watched the video of the rushing waters where ordinary citizens join hands to rescue a woman from her car on Main Street. We marvel at the quick thinking and out-and-out heroism their actions entailed. This is our chance to link hands, to think big, to engage in another sort of rescue. Supporting Ellicott City merchants is our opportunity to be heroes, to reach out, to make a difference.
Think about it. Talk to your friends and family. Make this year's holiday an Ellicott City one.