Christmas is six weeks away. Let me know repeat that in case you’re like me and wondering how that could possibly be true…
Christmas is six weeks away!
The bf mentioned that in passing this weekend, and I immediately pulled up the calendar on my phone to prove him wrong. He wasn’t. And I’m stressing. I’m usually on the ball with Christmas preparation, but these past few weeks have disappeared. As of right now we have our flights booked out to Vancouver Island (thanks to the bf) and have purchased a grand total of one gift. And that was only because it caught my eye on our last Costco trip. The one positive is that we’re traveling this year and not hosting so, while it makes Christmas more expensive, it’s slightly less planning.
I still need to get my butt in gear and starting shopping for gifts though. We buy gifts for both our immediate families, a few close friends, and small things for co-workers. I’m ok with that. I know some people swear by eliminating gift giving but if I’m honest, opening presents around the tree on Christmas morning is one of my favourite parts of the year.
Giving gifts that people truly love is important to me. I want to give them something they’ll use, and not something they feel obligated to keep. My one tip to ensure that’s almost always the case is to shop local.
Shop Local, Shop Unique
I am always impressed by the creativity and skill of local makers. I enjoy trying out crafty projects, but I’m so far from being able to sell anything I make that it’s that much cooler seeing what other people can do.
I highly recommend checking out local farmers markets or craft sales to give yourself time to browse see what’s available in your area. I’ve got a growing list of people I’ve discovered at markets who I now go back to again and again for gifts. Becoming a repeat customer at a local business makes you feel good, and can sometimes come with bonus perks. That’s not going to happen no matter how much you buy from Amazon.
If you aren’t able to shop a market in person or don’t have a good selection in your area, you’re not left out. Check out Etsy. There you get the convenience of online shopping and home delivery and the benefits of shopping local. Etsy is a platform for makers all over the world, but it’s super easy to limit your results to your country or even city. When you’re searching, take advantage of the ‘shop location’ filter to limit the results.
Price Matters Less
We are all price conscious to some degree. Whether you’re willing to admit it or not, most of us will run a quick price calculation on a gift when we open it. Retail gifts are so much easier to do this with. If someone bought you an Instant Pot, you likely have a pretty good idea how much that cost them.
Shopping local is different. It’s way harder to calculate the dollar value of something that was handmade as opposed to mass created. Uniqueness has a price, but you’re going to have a hard time figuring out what that price is.
If you’re not used to shopping local, you might think it’s more expensive. That’s not always the case though. I’ve often bought items I feel are a way better value compared to what I could buy from a big box store.
Keep Your Money In Your City
According to a study by Local First, if you spend $100 at a local business $68 of those dollars will stay in your city. If you spent that same $100 at a non-local business, only $43 would stay.
That’s just smart economics. We all want to live in the best possible place and keeping money in the community is one way to make that happen.
You’ll also be doing good for the environment. Many makers work from their own homes, and not from huge polluting factories on the other side of the world. Products are sourced and created locally and don’t need to be transported as far to get to you. Each of those steps makes the process more environmentally friendly. Hard to argue with being good for your community and good for the planet.
Shop Local Gift Guide for Canada
Once I came to terms with the fact that Christmas is coming up so quickly, I started browsing Etsy to see what I could find for gifts. I found some gems that I wanted to share and maybe inspire you to also shop local this year.
I recently purchased a set of three of Lisa’s prints for our new house (they may or may not still need to be framed and hung), and I love them. They’re so cute and colourful and will be great in the gallery wall I’m planning out.
Item I have my eye on: this husky print
Succulents are still as trendy as ever so why not take advantage of that when you’re in gift-giving mode. This Etsy shop has lots of pretty options, and it wouldn’t be too hard to add a plant to create a memorable and lasting gift.
Item I have my eye on: one of these cute little planters for my desk
Alberta can be incredibly dry and cold, and that means you need a constant supply of lip balm and hand lotion. I keep both in my purse, in my car, at work, at home, etc. For that reason, those products make perfect stocking stuffers for anyone dealing with a similar climate.
Item I have my eye on: this create your own variety pack to split up for stocking stuffers
Guys can be hard to buy for. I rarely have an issue picking out a gift for my mom, but it’s a yearly struggle finding Christmas gifts for the bf and my Dad. This year I’m liking the idea of a customized leather wallet…for both of them.
Item I have my eye on: this simple leather wallet you can personalize
Another option for the guy in your life. When he’s not at work, the bf wears t-shirts 99.9% of the time. Graphic tees are super common, but it can be hard to find ones that are more mature. I really like the offerings from Thred Work. They come in neutral colours and have simple but unique prints.
Item I have my eye on: this bear version
I’ve been hassling the bf to start woodworking as a hobby because it would be way more productive than his current salt water fish tank hobby. Until that happens, I’ll be looking elsewhere for wood products, and right now that place is FS Woodcraft.
Item I have my eye on: this bath caddy for my mom
Remember how I mentioned above that I enjoy doing crafts but my skill level is pretty low. The cross stitching kits from Dear Sukie caught my eye because they make it simple to try out a new hobby. Sound like someone in your life? Feed their crafty side with one of these kits.
Item I have my eye on: the unicorn cross stitch kit
I’ve been a fan of DogDogGoose products for years now, and my dogs wear her collars exclusively. If you have a pet owner to buy for then, I highly recommend the collars or bandanas. Both are fantastic quality and will last for years.
Item I have my eye on: my dogs don’t need new collars, but I love the look of this one
I am never going to be the person that researches and finds the coolest toy of the year to buy for the kids in my life. That’s one of the perks of not having your own kids. I will be the person who buys old school toys and books for your kids. They might not get the most squeals of joy upon first open, but they will be the toys that stay on the shelf for years.
Item I have my eye on: this personalized wooden puzzle
I always like getting jewelry as a gift and so it’s something I often give as well. It’s also small and easy to pack if you have to travel for Christmas.
Item I have my eye on: this long pendant necklace
Hopefully, these ten shop local Christmas gifts will help you out with your shopping this year and encourage you to keep your purchasing power in your community!
I’d love to hear if you’re shopping local this year! Share your best gift ideas in the comments.
This post was proofread by Grammarly.
Image Credit: Sarah Pflug