Yesterday, I gave myself the best Thanksgiving present possible – time. Time all morning to relax, to do some projects around the house that had been waiting for months… I even watched the parade, which I haven’t done in years! I didn’t get out of my pajamas until noon, and it wasn’t because I was sitting at my laptop for once! In fact – I made myself a no-laptop rule yesterday which felt amazing. Then, I headed to my parents’ where the evening went something like this: football, turkey, basketball, pie. Which is pretty much my idea of perfect.
I know I’m not the only one who counts Thanskgiving as my favorite holiday. And, if you ask people why, they tell you it’s because it’s about the important things. Friends or family gathered to give thanks; to stop and appreciate the blessings in their lives. It’s not about presents or pomp. It’s simple. And yet… incredibly fulfilling. Right?
This holiday season feels like it’s time to make a change. I suppose being in blogging, one can get a little tired of always focusing on things. Gift guides and what to wear to holiday parties and the latest little must-have pretties… it’s exhausting. Financially and consciously. And while I’m certainly not about to do away with these blog posts, it does seem like it might be nice to do things a little differently around here this year…
Small business Saturday is tomorrow – the day that we’re supposed to all head to our locally owned stores and discover amazing gifts for loved ones. Now – if we’re being honest – we know that this doesn’t happen very often. Because the stuff on our lists just isn’t always there. But, the real question is… are we making the effort? Are we at least trying to discover some of these uniquely beautiful additions to the presents under the tree? Are we going to spend that little extra money and maybe drive those few extra miles out of our way to get to those store owners who are depending on us to survive?
Now, before we get too crazy, yes, big businesses are essential to our economy too – obviously. They employ locally and give back to communities as well. So, don’t think I’m sitting here trying to bash the big boys as well.
My point is this – let’s make the effort this year. Bloggers (are you listening??) instead of making your gift guides based on your highest affiliate commissions, how about we try for originality? How about we go out of our way to see if some of our favorite small shops are carrying those same pieces that you might find elsewhere for a few less bucks, but a few less bucks sure doesn’t replace that warm fuzzy I get when I buy something from my local store owners who know me by name.
I am absolutely guilty of going to my standby online shops for posts because good Lord it takes insane amounts of effort to sort through Etsy these days – and how do we even go about discovering new small shops online with all that’s out there? That’s where we need to help each other out. If you have some favorite small online stores, please leave them in your comments here today!! I will do my best to feature those that are my favorites. And if you feel so inclined, grab one of those little buttons above to put on your own blog to support the sentiment (link it to this post, your favorite small shop, or write your own post about it and link to that!).
As for myself – in an effort to support my own locals, I’ll be spending the next few weeks shopping some favorite Seattle stores so I can feature a selection of favorites from those shops here on the blog. You’ll get to meet some fantastic store owners and places to put on your list when you come visit! And if you see something you like, I bet most of them would be happy to let you purchase them from across the country!
I hope some of you will get on board with not just saying you support small biz, but making the effort to find ways to promote it on your own blogs and in your own communities! Happy shopping!!
ps – bloggers like anna and erika are just two who i’ve already noticed support this kind of commitment, and i’m sure there are more of you. if you create a shop small gift guide, please let us know so we can link to you!