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Obama does a little Christmas shopping on "Small Business Saturday"

Hoping to encourage other Americans to participate in "Small Business Saturday" as an alternative to big chain-friendly Black Friday, President Obama today visited an Arlington, Va., bookstore to cross some items off his family's Christmas list.

Accompanied by his daughters Sasha and Malia, the president journeyed across the river to One More Page Books, which the White House described as an "independent, neighborhood bookstore." After consulting his Blackberry for an apparent holiday wish list, he purchased 15 children's books before even browsing the store.

"Preparation," he told shop owner Eileen McGervey, according to the reporter who covered the visit for the White House pool. "That's how I shop. Michelle, she can go wandering around forever. I like knowing what I'm coming in here for."

Mr. Obama declined to answer a question about the fiscal cliff. "We're doing Christmas shopping," he said. "Happy Thanksgiving, folks."

"Small Business Saturday" has become an annual tradition for the Obama family. Last year, the president and his daughters visited Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood.

The government is promoting "Small Business Saturday" on social and paid media in partnership with American Express, according to The Hill, urging Americans to support small businesses on what is notoriously the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

In a message to "Small Business Saturday" supporters Friday, the president said: "From the mom-and-pop storefront shops that anchor Main Street to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our Nation's promise.

"These businesses create two out of every three new jobs in America, helping spur economic development in communities across our country and giving millions of families and individuals the opportunity to achieve the American dream," he continued. "Through events such as 'Small Business Saturday,' we keep our local economies strong and help maintain an American economy that can compete and win in the 21st century."

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