Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas time is here... now what?

It's that time of year again. Our Christmas trees are going up, our shopping lists are long and we've got lots to think about.

This year I want to challenge you to make every dollar of your holiday shopping count.  I read this article by Tara Gentile awhile ago and I've thought about it a lot since then. While our economy is recovering we have power, maybe not a lot and maybe not the kind they'll talk about on the news or in political speeches, but power all the same, to shape what kind of economy emerges from the rubble of this recession. Who are we, the women who are spending the money this holiday season, going to support? Are we going to support the big super-discount stores? This clip below is a really interesting discussion on the topic of small business...

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I also watched this on the news back before the elections about the cost of low-price stores on the people with those jobs and this question that was raised keeps echoing in my mind. Do we want to support business whose employees can not make a living? I think because most of us have grown up in this consumer culture of dollar stores and getting stuff cheaply that we sometimes don't even think about the effect that the large super-stores are having. We don't consider the fact that most people working at these places can't support themselves on the wage they earn. They rely on working multiple jobs and government subsidies just to feed their family. Here comes the kicker - do we want to live like this is normal and okay?

If we decide that it's not okay, what other option do we have?

Support handmade
It might seem cliche, and sometimes it seems like honestly you have to wade through a lot of overpriced junk, but I think it's worth it. It's worth it to invest in your friends like the one in that link, who makes scarves. It's likely that there are local shops that stock items made by local artists. Why not stop by? There are also people in our online community, people who I follow on Twitter or Instagram, we read each other's blogs, consider each other friends...  these are people who you will be directly benefiting from supporting their shop/buying their products.

Kelly Rae
Jessica N Designs
Handmade Collectibles

The Cozy Project
These are only a couple... I'll let you know about more during the next week. You can scan my Etsy favorites, Twitter following & Pinterest boards for more. But Oh My Handmade is one of the best places to discover awesome handmade shops.

Over the next week I'll send a few more links your way and give you some ideas for custom photo products and last-minute handmade gifts you and your kids can make. But one last thing... during the holidays don't forget to...

Support charity

This is a ministry of a friend of mine to support an orphanage in Uganda.  Love her and her ministry!

Don't forget that many people in our communities are struggling with basic things like hunger and power this time of year. Don't neglect to give frequently to your local food bank!

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