gift ideas

Buy local and have a happier holiday

Reprint from




It’s that time of year again to think about what you are giving to Aunt Jane, Sister Sue, Brother Bob, the neighbor who feeds your gold fish when you are away, the mail carrier, and anyone else who has passed through your life this year. Yes, the holiday season is here once again.

The malls and big box stores are gaudily decorated and have been competing for your attention and money since before November. Most people are so exhausted by the time the holidays are over they are more like Scrooge or the Grinch rather than the smiling faces on their Christmas cards. All of this can be eliminated by making one small change this season.

The pushing crowds and rude clerks can be avoided if you think of buying locally. By joining the “buy locally movement” you are not only eliminating some of the stress but at the same time you will be helping your community and neighbors prosper. Think about it—would you rather add to China’s coffers or help a Mom and Pop business thrive?

10 Reasons for buying locally this holiday season:

  1. Shopping locally creates jobs. Shops in our town create local employment and self-employment, this helps to boost the local economy.
  2. Local independent shops invest more in our communities. Local businesses proportionally are more generous in their support of local charities, schools, and community events.
  3. Local shops sell great products at affordable prices.
  4. Shopping locally saves time and money. You travel less saving on time and fuel.
  5. Shopping locally retains our communities. Local shops and services are able to stay in business.
  6. Shopping locally retains our distinctiveness. Local businesses respond more quickly to the needs of local customers, stocking products to meet changing population needs.
  7. Shopping locally saves the environment. Less travel and transportation of goods equals less pollution.
  8. Local shops are for everyone. Less travel makes it easier for the elderly and young people to get to the shops.
  9. Local shops value you more. Surveys show people receive better customer care and service locally because they survive by their reputation and repeat business.

10.Shopping local saves services. Private and public sector services cluster around shops. As shops disappear so do hairdressers, banks, restaurants and other businesses.

Now that you are convinced to shop locally here are some “outside-the-gift box” ideas:

  1. Gift certificates to a hair salon or barber shop
  2. Gym membership
  3. Gift certificate for car washes or car detailing
  4. Driveway sealing
  5. Lawn mowing for the summer
  6. Driveway plowing for the winter
  7. Games at the local golf course or miniature golf course
  8. Gift certificates for a local restaurant
  9. Breakfast at the local morning gathering spot
  10. Oil change for the car
  11. Services of a cleaning lady for a day
  12. Computer tune-up
  13. A piece of artwork from a local gallery
  14. Jewelry, pottery, etc. from craft shows
  15. Tickets to a play or ballet at your hometown theatre
  16. A night out to hear local bands

When you buy local you are supporting someone’s dream of independence and business ownership. The new “buy local movement” is a revolution of caring about each other and isn’t that what Christmas is about?



Buy local and buy American

—the job you save might be your own