My Challenge To You

7 Nov


My co-workers and I have challenged each other to buy 100% of our holiday gifts locally this year. I am certain I came very close last year, but this year I am going to actually track it and report back to you with a detailed list of all my fabulous findings after Christmas. One thing that is wonderful about small towns is that their downtowns are usually full of gift shops. So finding a gift for everyone on my list, whether pretty or practical, should be a breeze. Now you might be reading this thinking that the challenge of shopping local sounds logical for employees of a chamber of commerce. And you are right. But it is also a logical goal for you, no matter who you work for, how much money you make, how busy you are, or where you live.

I challenge you to be conscious of where you purchase your gifts this year. Every town, no matter what size, has small businesses that are depending on you to shop their stores this year so they can afford to stay in business for another year. Your money actually betters your community when you spend it at a local store instead of online or a big box store. It might be convenient to go to the mall or load up a shopping cart at a big box store, but why do that when you can find more personalized, specialty gifts from the small guys? People say it is the thought that counts, so take some time to enjoy the shopping experience and actually find a really great gift for everyone on your list this year.

If you love shopping like I do, than the shop small challenge is actually fun because you have an excuse to spend more time shopping at more places to find all your gifts. If you are a grinch and hate shopping, then shopping small is actually a win for you, too. Think about it. If you go to a big box store, you have to solve your own problems by deciding what to buy, then actually finding it in the store, and then going home to wrap it. But go to a small business and they will solve your problems for you. Even if you have no clue what you are looking for, they will have ideas and advice, and they will often even wrap it for you right there. And if they don’t end up having what you are looking for, small businesses are usually great at referring you to other businesses that can help.

You could go to Target and easily find something for everyone in your family, but then they end up with the same exact gift as a million other Americans. I challenge you to search for something more unique and special to spend your money on. Let’s give meaningful gifts and support small businesses this year.

If you are reading this and cannot think of any small businesses to shop at, please let me help you find them. Comment below and I promise I will help you find some great small businesses near you.


4 Responses to “My Challenge To You”

  1. Allison November 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    I know of a great little jewelry shoppe that’s happy to create custom baubles for a special someone at a reasonable price 😉

    The hard part for me, is trying to figure out what to give everyone!

    • emilylcounts November 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      Jewelry makes great gifts for the ladies, especially Passon Pretty Jewelry! My go-to gifts for men who are hard to buy for like my dad are food-related. Fancy chocolates, gourmet nuts or trail mix, popcorn, etc.

      • Allison November 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

        Any suggestions for a 20 something brother? He’s by far the toughest. Thank you for mentioning Passon Pretty Jewelry, that was very kind of you! It’s local, kinda but it is definitely all unique and handmade.

      • emilylcounts November 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

        Hmm they are the toughest. You could do a movie night theme gift with a movie he loves or is wanting and add popcorn, milk duds and drinks. I’ve looked at funny Raygun-style shirts for my brother. I have also come across solar and battery-powered chargers for phones/ipods that would make a neat gadget gift. Or maybe a fun board game or party game of some sort.
        Candy in cute bottles:

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