On "Small Business Saturday," many shoppers headed to local stores that depend on local dollars.
And in the process they discovered a saner, more relaxing style of shopping that follows in the wake of the wildly hyped "Black Friday" frenzy - and a way to support their local community while getting their shopping done without being trampled.
"I think a lot of the shoppers are used to going to the larger stores. It's where the ads are; it's where the main push for sales are," says Judy Ayers, owner of the 4 Your Eyes Only store in Wallingford.
But by shopping small, you're supporting the right people, she says.
"You are supporting an owner who's supporting her staff who are supporting their families," says Ayers. "It certainly isn't going overseas or to CEOs who are earning million-dollar bonuses each year."
Small businesses play a huge role in our economy. Half of American workers either own a small business, or work for one.
Small Business Saturday supporters sat they hope shoppers will keep this in mind when spending that holiday cash.
"I wanted to support small businesses, but I also work for Amazon, so I wanted to balance it out," says local shopper Leah Melvoin.
Melvoin has noticed that some of her favorite smaller shops - are gone.
"I just noticed a couple of stores that aren't here anymore, and it kind of made me realize I need to come out a bit more often," she says.
Plus, small stores say they've got the edge on the big shops - because they personally know you.
Kathleen Koch, owner of local Wallingford shop Crackerjack, says, "We have customers we've had for 25 years, and we've watched them grow their families. We know what they collect and what their style tends to be."