A very Merry and bright Holiday this year and beyond

It’s that time again, that moment after Halloween when you realize you only have few weeks until Thanksgiving and then shortly after Christmas and Hanukkah will be here. It’s already crunch time and if you are like me, you have no idea where the time went and how to tackle a shopping list this year. Let’s also throw in the fact that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. It makes me want to send gifts to everyone I ever knew just to spread a little extra joy, but let’s not get carried away just yet.

Typically, a lot of people buy a lot of their holiday goodies on Black Friday. Well, that doesn’t look like a possibility this year with the restrictions of 6 ft apart and all. Though, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if I still see crowds on Black Friday if stores are still willing to open their doors. Some people will wait until the last moment and grab stuff at the local well known megastore. And if you are like me, you might take advantage of Amazon and a prime membership. I have really enjoyed, in the past, picking out gifts and sending them directly to my family without hesitation or concern of wrapping and mailing it myself.

I get it, it’s all about what we are used to doing and we are all creatures of habit but, what if we did things differently this year? Why not? This year is so different from any other year, why not keep it going? This year has made me realize the importance of supporting small businesses, shopping local and paying attention to the environment. During this difficult time in the economy, we have already lost small businesses that we may never see again. We know places like Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target have been doing just fine this year. So, why not shop intentionally this year and use our money to benefit those in need while giving gifts with true meaning?

“I get it, it’s all about what we are used to and we are all creatures of habit, but what it we did things a little differently this year?

“So, why not shop intentionally this year and use our money to benefit those in need while giving gifts with true meaning?”

The best part, I’ve done some of the hard work for you. It’s actually easier than you would think. First, make your list. Who do you need to buy for this year? I think it’s ok to scale back, this year especially. It’s really about quality over quantity. Are you looking to buy a book for someone? Or beauty products? Maybe it’s children’s toys or clothes? Next, think of a few ideas for each person on your list. When you look at your list what kinds of gifts can you imagine? Now, here is where you get creative. Let me give you an example.

Say I have a friend, Sarah, and she is very into reading. I have already thought of a book that she will just love. Instead of ordering it off of Amazon or Barnes and Noble, I will look up local book stores in her area. Some will do local delivery or free shipping. Sometimes they have discounts and other sales going on, because frankly they are trying to survive and they NEED our business. I will order the book through that small book store. Sometimes it takes a little time and extra effort to find the right place and gift. (Here is my list of favorite places to shop that support this idea.) However, the joy I feel knowing that I am supporting a small and local business makes it all worth the while.

Here are some ideas to help make this holiday season one for the books, one that will help create changes in the way we shop and support our communities;

  • Clothes; Find sustainable brands, not just any clothes that look good to the eye. Here I have listed some of my favs. These are brands that give back to mother earth and making sustainable fashion.
  • Beauty Products; Check out Credo. I am in love with their collection of Clean beauty products. They have opened up stores around the country but you can also order online.
  • Books; Like I said, buy local and have it delivered
  • Unique gifts;(candles, jewels, crystals, games, decor etc.) Look up local gift shops and boutiques in the area of the person you are shopping for and you will find amazing little shops. Order and have it delivered or shipped through those stores.
  • Children’s toys; First, ask the parents what their kid might want or need.(please lol) Children’s toy stores are dying. We already saw the mega-giant Toys’R’Us go down a few years ago. Please help keep local toy stores and children’s boutiques alive. They still exist, just Google or Yelp it.

Basically, decide on an idea of the gift and then spend a little time and research to get a gift with intention. Personally, I encourage the intention of a sustainable gift or one that is from a small and local business. If you want to do a gift card, again, find a small business to support. I know it can be difficult to make changes like this, especially during the most stressful time of the year. However, I truly believe Mother Earth has purposely slowed us down in a way we can not ignore and so we should honor that and make changes like these to help better our planet and the future of our communities.

Happy Holidays and with Love,

LAB

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