Finally, it’s officially time for the Christmas season to begin — not the day after Halloween or earlier, but the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is not my thing, but if I were a shopper, Small Business Saturday would be the day for me. American Express began promoting this event in 2010 as a day to remember and recognize the local businesses that form the heart of our communities, and it’s been going strong ever since.  Beat the crowds at the mall by visiting the many small businesses in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs this weekend. Start your day at a locally owned coffee shop like Crema. Then shop for a few hours and enjoy lunch at a locally owned restaurant like Café Pharr or Village Burger. If you’re worn out after Black Friday and Shop Local Saturday, plan a leisurely dinner out at Marlow’s or Vintage Pizzeria. Try the shops below for unique gifts for friends and family. Eat at one or several of the restaurants on the list and consider a gift certificate from these establishments to tuck in a stocking or wrap in a box. Personally, I find popping into a small local business much less stressful than fighting the crowds at the mall, and I appreciate the friendly greetings I h...