evolutionyou.net | wanted: santa

Yesterday morning, I may or may not have sang The 12 Days of Christmas on my way to work… in its entirety… by myself. 😉 This can only mean one thing… The holiday season is upon us!

Now ya’ll know how I feel about presents and how I feel about collecting stuff… Still, the fact remains that most of us will give presents to our loved ones this season. That said, this post is all about changing what we choose to give.

A few days ago, my mom forwarded me an email with the subject line: Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition. The email suggested that this year we should buy local and encourage American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. What a great idea! The email went on to say that when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways that we couldn’t imagine.

Whether you live in the United States or you live anywhere else in the world, I think that this is an idea that we can all get on board with! The email had a bunch of great gift ideas that will make your loved ones smile and support local businesses. Here are some of the suggestions:

  • A gift certificate to the local hair salon or barber
  • A gym membership
  • A car detailing
  • A driveway sealing
  • A summer of lawn mowing
  • A winter of driveway plowing
  • A game at the local golf course
  • Dinner at an owner-run restaurant
  • Breakfast at the local breakfast joint
  • An oil change
  • A month of housekeeping from a local cleaning lady
  • A computer tune-up
  • Local crafts—scarves, jewelry, pottery, woodwork

The email also suggested planning your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and leaving your servers a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre? Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

I really love these ideas! I’ve got a few of my own for you:

  • Cookies or cupcakes from your local bakery
  • A massage at a nearby spa
  • A gift certificate to the local dog groomer for your pet-loving friends
  • Something created by your own hands using crafts from your local craft shop
  • A painting from a local artist
  • A framed photograph with a frame from a local framing shop

Another suggestion that I have is to use Etsy. It’s my favourite gift-buying resource. It even has a new feature—Etsy Local—that allows you to search for local products made by artisans in your hometown!

Typically, I don’t encourage my readers to steal my posts, but this time I’m asking you to steal away! Forward this post to everyone on your mailing list, share it on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Throw a post up on Craigslist in the ‘Rants and Raves’ section for your city or send it to the editor of your local newspaper!

Let’s make this holiday season a revolution of caring about each other & supporting our local businesspeople!

If you have ideas for other ways to support local business this holiday season, let us know in the comments.

xo,
Dena

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