This year for Christmas, I have decided to buy all of my gifts from small business owners. Several thoughts/ideas have brought me to this conclusion:
1. Caren has been on a rampage (for at least as long as I've known her) over how many products are made in China. Since we often shop together, it has been brought to my attention numerous times. What's most frustrating about it is that there will be American created products, i.e. the product was thought of here, invented here; but then it is produced in China. It's cheaper for these American companies to have the Chinese make it for them but at what cost to our own economy and to our own citizens? Caren's goal, at this point, is not even necessarily to Buy American but to just not buy Chinese. Even Ugg boots are made in China now. Come on World!
2. This whole Occupy Wall Street thing has gotten me to thinking too. Let me make it clear that I believe in Capitalism. It is good and it works. Money is power and power corrupts but I am all about a free economy. There are kinks and Jerks that get into every system especially when money is involved. If one really wants to give it to Wall Street they need to make their voices heard. Money talks much louder then any number of people sitting outside of the Trade Center. If you want to stick it to big corporations then don't buy from them. Seek out local artisans and craftsman so you know that your money is going directly into the pocket of your fellow American. These small business owners went into business because they know that capitalism works.
So stay out of WalMart, Target and the mall! (I can hardly stand the mall at Christmas anymore. Greedy, selfish hoards in stores proclaiming their Season's Greetings in flat political correctness. Blah!
Instead consider some of these things:
A gift certificate for a salon appointment. My sister, Dawn The Hair Extraordinaire, does amazing things with a pair of shears! She lives in Austin, TX and works at a local barber shop there. She does great hair for men, women and children and she can even go to your home. Maybe you know someone who could use a whole new look or you can treat them to hair and make up before a big event, like New Year's Eve. A girls night of make-overs would be a fun thing as well! You can contact Dawn at email@example.com.
There are fun things to be found at The Perfect Stitch as well. Stacey embellishes shirts, bags, onsies, etc with beautiful embroidery and bling-bling work. You can see more of her crafts here.
Do you live in the Dallas/Plano area and need treats for your party? Sugar Queen Cupcakes will take care of you! A fun gift idea may be a gift card to Sugar Queen for an after school date with your kiddos! They have more than cupcakes there. You can find fun t-shirts and gifts. Plus they are the home of the Official Cupcake of Texas! ;)
Check out this little shop! Don't they have the greatest things! Southern Joy is based in Tennessee. They are an eco-friendly gift shop that boasts beautiful hand crafted jewelry, spa gifts and more! I am in love with their jewelry.
This reminds me...shop Etsy, people! http://www.etsy.com/ This is a huge resource of handmade gifts. Here is a fun etsy shop with cheeky little accesories: Leilani's Heavenly Flowers
Gift cards to Mom and Pop restaurants are another great idea. The gift of landscaping, personal trainers, the ideas are endless! If you have a small business that you'd like to plug, please feel free to do so in the comments. I'm looking for good ideas.... Heck, I suppose I could plug myself: Decorator/Party Planner/Custom Art ;)
I love Christmas! No matter how it got started or what it evolved from, I love that the world takes time out of the year to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. No birthday party is complete with out gifts and buying your gifts from small businesses gives two fold: to your loved one and to your neighboring entrepenuer.
A few more ideas:
paino lessons firstname.lastname@example.org
contract work for your home email@example.com
dog training firstname.lastname@example.org