Give Great Gifts: Shop Locally

Shop locally for Christmas!

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas shopping season is well under way.  I read something recently that really had me re-thinking my gift list, and it works for all my out-of-town family, too.

The whole point of gift-giving is (or should be) to give pleasure to your friend/family member, and to show them that you’re thinking of them and you love them.  It shouldn’t have to cost a lot of money – sometimes the best gift you can give is inexpensive but exactly what they want, and sometimes it simply involves time, not money.

With that in mind, what about making your shopping help out your hometown economy, too?  Instead of spending money at big chain stores or ordering it from out-of-state, here are some ideas that will support local businesses and be a delight to give:

  • A gift from a local boutique – clothing, jewelry and gift items that are more than department store standards.
  • A hand-crafted item from a local artisan.  It might be a knitted scarf, a hand-made cuckoo clock, a blown-glass vase, a carved wooden bowl, one-of-a-kind jewelry, or any number of other things.
  • Try floral and greenery arrangements from a local florist.  With your input, they can arrange something unique – exactly what you want without going through a nationwide service and taking what they have to offer.  And remember, if you want to give an arrangement to someone out of town, there’s nothing stopping you from calling their local florist directly!
  • For the person who doesn’t need any more things, how about a service?  Stop in your local shops (or call their local shops) for a gift certificate:  haircut, massage, manicure, snow removal, oil change, dry cleaning, or anything else your special someone might like.

I’m still budget-conscious, and I’m sure I’ll still do a bit of Amazon.com shopping (although that helps us out locally, too, since my son works in one of their shipping warehouses!), but I’m off to scope out my small town stores.  And for my parents, who live in another state and don’t need extra clothing or clutter, I really like the idea of setting up some car care certificates for them.

What about you?  Do you have a favorite local store?  What special gift have you given or received that was locally made?  What’s your best idea for this year?

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