With Christmas day fast approaching, all of us have been out and about doing our holiday shopping for friends, family, and loved ones.

Some people opt to shop at the typical chain stores, while others enjoy kicking their feet up on Cyber Monday and making the most of all the online deals. Both of these shopping methods are perfectly acceptable, but there's another that's often overlooked: going to small, local businesses.

These stores are special for several reasons. First, they're locally-owned, and often source their products locally as well. Second, if you're looking for a gift that's extra special or unique, local businesses are the way to go. Yours truly has already done most of her Christmas shopping, and can confirm that the most unusual, one-of-a-kind gifts came from local businesses. Last, but certainly not least, the owners of these places are super kind and passionate about the work that they do, so it feels great to support their efforts.

Two local small businesses that this writer loves are Nest, a charming antique store in Portsmouth, and Good Juju by Ceci, a gift shop in Newmarket. Both stores have really cool items, as well as wonderful owners who seem to love what they do. We definitely recommend paying these places a visit when you can.

We recently took to Facebook to ask you what other local small businesses in New Hampshire deserve a shoutout this holiday season. Here are 20 places you recommended.

Shop Local at These 20 New Hampshire Small Businesses This Holiday Season

Here are some other holiday gift ideas, this time Maine-made.

Maine-Made Holiday Gift Ideas: A Guide to Buying Local

Here are 50 Maine-made holiday gift ideas so you can find the right gift for the right person while buying local and supporting our fellow Mainers - because that’s a gift in itself.

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