Holiday Shopping and Buying Local

Holiday Shopping– I know…. let one holiday pass before you head onto the next, but if you’re anything like me you are already done… partially done or already scheming. I am a crafter by heart and if you have any intention of crafting it takes time to do them all. You have to plan ahead. Last year, I made over 20 coffee mug candles…. five or so scarves, some door signs I hand painted, and some fun printed signs we made and had framed- just to name a few. I also believe that holidays are just too much on kids- I have no money either, but it’s just too much. Holidays in my mind have become heavily sugared and over gifted. In turn, they are undercooked from scratch and not enough crafty type things. I know in my house this is true… and I’m trying terribly to turn the tide. The other thing is the holidays are freaking expensive!!! I think it is super important to buy local and keep the local economy going. So I try my best to use local places to serve my needs. So here are a list of holiday shopping thoughts and how to keep them local and simple.

Christmas cards…I try to send Christmas cards with the kids photo on it. I don’t give out a lot of photos, because we can’t afford those fancy portraits every year…. many people are lucky they get a picture at all. I get two birds with one stone on the Christmas cards. I have honestly purchased 100 to 200 every year from Walgreens photo center. It can be done entirely online and you can pick them up in store with envelopes. Stamps are so ridiculous so don’t be offended if I don’t send yours in the mailbox. I spend on average $75 on Christmas cards alone every year. I think Christmas cards are important… a special way to send your love and let people know you think of them throughout the year.

Local gift shops are good to find locally made crafts.

We frequent- Buy the Season– They have all kinds of crafts, antiques, and home decor things that are unique and fun. Go for a few hours, wear comfortable shoes, go without kids and take a cart at the front… you’ll want it.

The Stocked Market– This event hosted by our local Junior League sets up the Civic Center with all kinds of goodies from wine, soaps and clothing. There are all kinds of things. It takes a ticket to get in the door, but again go for a few hours, wear comfortable shoes and go without kids.

I know there are more local crafter type shops here where I live and if you know of some of them please post the link down in the comment section. I just don’t get much farther than those two places.

Gifting with Goodies-

Every year Alden and I make chocolate covered peanut butter balls and I buy baggies for candies at JoAnns, Michaels, or ACMoore. We put five in the baggy and give them to each teacher. This is always appreciated. Sometimes for his main teacher we will give a gift card to the local village area.

Know a Baker? I know a few, but a fun idea is to gift someone you know like a whole family, office or team with a cake. This is a nice way to hit a huge group at once with some love. You could always see if the baker will do a gift card for future use as well or have something specifically made for them. Here is the link for my friend in town that makes delicious cheesecakes- Lick the Spoon.

Another one we use often even for kids birthdays. Again kids are over gifted and maybe you can’t afford a $20 gift for every little kid, but a $5 to 10 gift card at these local places can get a scoop of ice cream or a cupcake… Sugar them later in other words. Viva La Cupcake and Pop’s Ice Cream and Soda Bar

A lot of people we know love coffee right??? Well gift them with some caffeine in the new year. Again I’m particular about this- go local people. Our favorite is CUPS Coffee and Tea. It doesn’t have to be much, but for some people that I know, that go there multiple times a week, it could be a gift that goes a long way for them.

Wine and Beer- My husband and I would take a 6 pack of locally made beer without an issue- trust me. It’s fun trying new spirits. Here are some local wineries and breweries in my area. Foggy Ridge CiderParkway Brewing Brewing Co. Roanoke Railhouse Brewery – Valhalla Vineyards… just to name a few.

Clothing– does not have to be at a big retailer. Although it’s easy to return things and there are multiple options. It doesn’t have to be huge- I personally love the scarves sold at these places and sometimes the jewelry is uniquely crafted. Try gifting someone with something from a boutique shop. This is a bigger financial deal, but these shops are unique and fun. Here are some of my favorites… Urban Gypsy and La De Da.

Nails and Hair- I love getting my nails done- don’t know many women who don’t. My favorite place is Polished. Gift cards for this loveliness is much appreciated. Hair places- I get my hair cut by a non-chain location a few blocks from my house. It’s cheaper.. more personable… and more fabulous. Gift cards to places like this or even just a card that says your next cut is on me and slip cash in there. It’s the thought that counts!

Art– Now not to sound crazy, but shopping for local art can be fun and it has a fun connection to it. I know several local artists varying from watercolor portraits to abstract oils. Some are pricey and some come at starving artist rates. My mother sells her art locally- mostly oil landscapes. This dynamic duo make art on canvas and they do hair. One of our lovely friends teaches art classes for kids and also paints portraits- Rachelle Kuehl.

-All kinds of fun handcrafted things- endless possibilities with Etsy. It may not be your local, but if you carefully shop it’s still someone else’s local.

I love buying handbags from etsy- just be careful where you’re buying from. The last one looked super American- shipped from China and took a long long time.

Handstamped jewelry- this is one of my all time favorite gifts. It’s not as “clean as” a Things Remembered gift, but it’s still awesome. We got our kids names on discs for their godmother for Christmas- Hannah Designs.

This one is awesome- handcrafted jewelry made in Portland, Oregon. The owners and designers went to college with my husband John. He got to visit them in Portland last spring. Betsy and Iya.

I hope this helps you start your buy mostly local journey this holiday season. Now I’ve got to get my craft on already…. I’m running behind. This is the first year I haven’t already started by now. By the way, John and I had a lovely weekend here are some fun shots of our silliness the weekend before Halloween.

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Breakfast at CUPS Coffee and Tea.

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All girls in princess dresses and heels should climb trees… right?

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We played beer pong at our friends Halloween party Saturday night. We had a great time. I didn’t notice until later that the eyeball pingpong ball is spot on in this photo.

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