Instead make a conscious effort to Buy Local, independent and/or sustainable this holiday season.
I started my shopping today at Art Vs. Craft, Milwaukee's DIY craft fair. I, as well as thousands of other folks apparently, look forward to this event each year. The opportunity to find unique, funky, handmade gifts created by local or regional artists is one you just can't pass up. I was smart this year and went with cash instead of a credit card, so I managed to do a better job of limiting my own presents. I still got plenty of cute stuff for myself and crossed several folks off the gift list.
I don't want to spoil any surprises, so I'll be vague about my other gift ideas. Basically though, I am vowing to avoid all national retailers for gifts this Christmas season. Obviously there are some exceptions, like I'll probably use the Kodak application built into iPhoto to print some photos, but I think that is acceptable since there's no local alternative.
So how am I going to do this?
- Some of my friends are going to have to wait until after the holidays to get their gifts. When I return from India, they'll be getting global gifts that were bought locally. I think I can do just as good of a job of importing at World Market.
- As I mentioned I got a good chunk of shopping taken care of at Art Vs. Craft today. For other physical gifts that must be purchased before the 25th, I plan to hit up locally-owned businesses, especially those that are members of Our Milwaukee.
- Per usual, some of my hobbyist photography will probably end up in some gift packs this year.
- Despite a great Seinfeld episode giving it a bad rap (The Human Fund. Money for People), I may try giving some charitable donations this year to those in my circle who are less selfish than George Costanza. If I do this I'm going to try and make a concerted effort to tie in the cause to the personality of who I'm giving it to.