This Thanksgiving, ditch Black Friday and opt for Small Business Saturday, a national movement to support small businesses by holiday shoppers. Not only can you get your holiday shopping done, you're helping support friends and neighbors.

Small Business Saturday is part of a national "Shop Small" movement sponsored in part by American Express to highlight unique, locally owned businesses. The annual program takes place nationally. Locally, many small businesses offer specials, refreshments and more. It's the only day when you can save on qiviut garments at the Musk Ox Farm for example - they are extending a 30 percent discount on Saturday only.

in Palmer, the Shop Palmer program is back. Simply make a purchase at a participating business anytime from now to December 20 and you will receive a stamp card. Every $10 purchased at a participating business will earn a stamp on your card. Fill up a card with 10 stamps [$100] and you have a chance to win $1,000. Once a stamp card is filled, simply fill out the contact information section and drop your completed stamp card into any of the drop-boxes, located at a participating business.

After participating in Small Business Saturday, don't forget to come back to Palmer on Dec. 8-10 for Colony Christmas - one of Alaska's best holiday events.