Sunday, November 3, 2013

Close to home: 10 ideas for keeping Christmas(the holidays) local

Well if you have read this page in years past you know I am big on supporting local talent. This year I am going to make it super easy for you to shop locally - with my super-fantastic-keep-it-in-the-hood listorama.

1) Support a local musician by purchasing their music and swag and giving it as a gift. Win, win you'll make two people happy. Don't know how or where to look for someone in your area? Check and click 'local'. You should be able to pop in your location and viola! Find some music that gets you where you live.

2) Support a local artisan. This is an easy one as many people sell their wares at local Christmas Fairs and holiday markets, or walk into a local art gallery and see what's what. Or if you are like me and tied to a keyboard, check out and shop by 'location'.

3) Support a local charity. One year we bought everybody Camp Goodtimes sweatshirts. There are a lot of charities you can support by buying their swag - it's a really meaningful gift for all involved.

4) I usually get my mom a Spa Certificate - local to the town she lives in. This is a great way of supporting local merchants, and it can be used for whatever they offer from massage to facial, nails, pedi etc. (A Spa day for your bff's pooch wouldn't hurt either!)

5) For your special holiday meals, try shopping by the Hundred Mile rule: only purchase items that were produced within 100 miles of where you live. So local produce, vino etc. This may mean being super creative in some places, but hey, that just adds to the fun!

6) And then there is the sure fire winner, the gift of yourself! Print off those snuggle bucks (no not really), but you can give your time: babysitting, let your friends out for the night!, dog walking, meal prep, house painting, moving help, gardening help, free house concert - you name it, I am sure you can come up with a load of things to do for your friends and fam - tie yourself up with a bow and there you go! Now that's as local as it gets.

7) If you have the time and really want to get creative, how about writing a book, making a calendar or giving some sort of very personal art from your very own self? You can usually do these things on-line through Staples or Office Depot and have them printed up and you just have to pick them up!

8) I once gave my sister a T-shirt I had made with a picture of me on it. (Like who wouldn't want that?) All you need is a printer, some iron on transfer paper and a T or cool undies etc - talk about creative! You can even have buttons made up! Need a hand with this stuff? Check out Blim or something similar in your town.

9) Well, you know me, I'm all about Christmas music - how about making a cd of you singing some tunes? Or make a vid of the fam doing a wee sing-along or film a day in the life. This would be really amazing for out of town family.

10) Where we live there is so much going on over the holidays, literally for any budget. Get out and enjoy some of the stuff that's going on in your hood, this keeps it really local, builds community and can make even the Grinchiest heart grow a few sizes.

Happy November!