The older I get, the more I've come to appreciate things that are handmade, especially those items made locally. Whenever I can, I try to buy things from local places as opposed to the chain stores. That's not to say you won't see me at the Lehigh Valley Mall or The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley. I love those places too. But I've come to value the person behind the product; to meet the lady that bakes the pies, grows the vegetables or makes the homemade soaps.

This Saturday, November 20, is your chance to do the same on "Buy Local Day," also known as "America Unchained" day. It's part of a national campaign to get people to consider shopping in their own downtowns from locally owned and operated stores, shops and restaurants. They predict that if all of us would purchase our goods locally for just one day, it would have a considerable impact on local economies all over the country.

"Buy Local Day" is timed just before the official start of the Christmas gift-buying season in hopes that people will think about their purchases and make the decision to support businesses in their area. So I encourage you to buy local this Saturday. It's not only the right thing to do, but I guarantee you'll feel good about it.

Some of my favorite places to "buy local" include the Easton Farmers' Market, Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market, Lehigh Valley Wine Trail and a slew of restaurants throughout the region.

What are some of your favorite places to "buy local" in Lehigh Valley?

This post was written by Tracey Werner and was originally published on November 21, 2008