I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. Now we are approaching another big family holiday, and our purchasing shifts from food to gifts and the pressure is on to buy the right present for everyone. Some years I like to make gifts, but life is busy and part of my goal as a good neighbor is to continue supporting local businesses. So, the last few years I’ve chosen to shop at local stores for holiday gifts for my kids, siblings, parents and friends.
There is a lot to consider when shopping for gifts, including convenience, quality, materials used, where it was created, where it is sold, and, of course, the price. For me, however, price is the last thing I consider, really. No, I’m not so financially fit that I don’t need to consider the monetary cost of an item, but what is really important to me (besides finding the right gift for the right person) is the environmental and economic impact of the product. I look at where it was made. I check out the quality and read the materials list (looking for materials that I can recognize). I think about the store and employees that I am supporting. And then, yes, I look at the price to see if it is close to what I want to spend…but not to compare it to a lesser product that I can get at a box store.
If I spend an extra $20 on a local store gift, I know that the money goes to a local business owner or artist and it enables them to contribute to my local economy. I think it is well worth the extra cost. This $20 can mean a gift for someone’s kid this year. It can support a meal for a small family during the holidays. It can even come back around to support my family through my local business. And, on the flip side…you don’t HAVE to spend an extra $20; you can always find gifts for any budget in our region’s shops.
This holiday season, I urge you to think about all of the purchases you make. Let’s do our best to support each other, while giving our families some really unique gifts that they can enjoy for years to come!
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