Give a holiday gift to your town.

Your holidays can be special and frugal… and help your community be stronger.

Celebrate your town: shop local!Did you realize that you can help your town recover from challenging economic times? Preserve and protect your town by shopping for the holidays locally. What better gift to give the community where you and your family live, than by supporting it with your shopping dollars?

What does this involve? Buying from your neighbors. The locally-owned pet-supply store you rely upon for the unusual things or the special order you need: shop his store, too, for the standard stuff that you might otherwise pick up at a Big Box store. After all, Gertie the Gerbil would miss her little maple-flavored treats if your neighbor’s store couldn’t survive.

The greengrocer, if you’re lucky enough to have one in your area, or the farmer’s market. The little dance-studio shop for your daughter’s tutus. Your peer-owned consignment shop. The local charity’s thrift store. The oil-change joint run by your friend’s uncle. All economics are local. In other words:

Shop Locally to Keep your Wallet Local.

Yes, sometimes (but not as often as you think) you may pay a little extra because Amy Flo’s Floral Shop pays more for its holly wreaths than MallMart does. That’s a fact of life. But think of it this way: the extra 3 or 7% you spend at Amy Flo’s will keep your town viable economically. Consider it an investment in Main Street.

And what of us who don’t live in the postcard-perfect little town…or whose little town died a shopping death long ago, thanks to huge retailers who call your town Store #3482? Take the time to search out locally-owned enterprises. Shop the Christmas-tree farm out on the national road, or do your gift-buying in the museum shop or the Friends of the Library sale or a church’s holiday bazaar. And while you’re shopping locally, you’re also saving time and gas, meeting your neighbors, making contacts, and supporting your neighbors. And imagine the memories you’re making for your children (and yourself): That’s where we always buy our tree, from Mr. Overalls… the lady at the meat market always gave us a candy cane…  As we say over at, a Merry Thrifty Christmas to all!

It’s kinda “save the earth” as your Christmas gift to all…one neighborhood at a time.

A version of this post, addressed to resale shopkeepers, originally appeared in Auntie Kate the Blog.
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