The time is fast approaching when we start thinking about holiday gifts and what we can possibly get dear Aunt Martha this year… the woman who complains about every gift she receives!

For most, holiday shopping comes in the combination of online orders, malls, and local stores. In today’s world, we all lead such busy lives so it’s understandable that online purchases must be made. I’ve always been a huge supporter of our local businesses and try to make a purchase from a local store when I can. It’s even better when a local business has an online site to shop on.

Over the years I've found that a lot of local businesses strive to have unique items and gifts to stand apart from the big box stores. I’ve always found that the level of customer service tends to be better when working with a local boutique or business.

When visiting Easton, here are a few local places I've shopped at and highly recommend checking out this holiday season or any time for that matter!

1) Easton Outdoor Company specializes in apparel, footwear and equipment for the outdoor enthusiast. They carry lines such as North Face, Patagonia, Marmont, Teva, and Salomon to name a few. Most of the inventory are unique styles to stand apart from the box stores. I found an awesome North Face Tank there over the summer.

2) Monarch Furniture has been a family owned and operated business since 1951. I bought my entire bedroom set there and I have to say the price, quality and service is top notch. Most of the furniture if not all is made in the United States which was a huge plus for me.

3) RE:find is a home furnishing, art gallery and gift store that focuses primarily on environmentally responsible and sustainably sourced goods. You'll find items from a lot of local artists in Lehigh Valley. I found my coffee table there and the artist lives only blocks away from cool!

4) Mercantile Home is a design studio that produces gifts and home accessories utilizing new, organic, and recycled materials. All the items in the store are hand made such as pillows, jewelry, skirts, art prints, etc. My favorite items are the colorful animal sculptures (like the squirrel above!) I absolutely love mine. You can see their collection online.

4) Just Around the Corner is a beautiful gallery that offers the work of over 175 American artisans and over 90 local artists. You'll find handmade gifts such as pottery, metals, leather, clocks, children's toys, soaps, jewelry, and so much more. As a gift, I bought my friend a unique one of a kind leather bracelet.

These are a few of my favorite go to unique shops when visiting Easton. What I also love about these stores is that they are all customer service and community focused. You'll always find them participating in all of Easton's events throughout the year. When in Easton, don't forget to stop in the Visitor's center at the Sigal Museum where they also have a unique gift shop.

Happy Shopping and don't forget about Small Business Saturday!!!