Yes, that’s correct. Again this year, I am striving for an anti-retail Christmas.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not Scrooge McDuck when it comes to Christmas. In fact, the holidays are my favorite time of the year!
But the idea of shopping for my loved ones in an over crowded, retail-chain giant super-store warehouse just doesn’t fill me with a festive holiday glow…
Does anyone else despise all the commercialism that has taken over Christmas?? Retailers will have us believe the Christmas Spirit is all about the rush-rush-rush. The spend-spend-spend and chasing the illusion of the greatest deal on the latest gadget. Hurry up and stand in line. Max your credit limits. Hand off your heard earned money to fund some CEO’s monthly retreat on a private jet!
I long for a Christmas that is more personalized and less commercialized! I just want to slow down and breathe. I want to enjoy time with my family and friends. And drink Chai Tea Lattes and laugh. And breathe…
More Personalized. Less Commercialized.
When I look around and see so many people in need out there, it’s sad knowing I can’t help everyone… But maybe, I can make a small difference. Maybe, with thoughtful spending choices, my little bit of money, can matter!! For this reason, when Christmas shopping, it has become a priority for me to find ways for my money to serve double duty. I mean, if I am going to spread holiday cheer by spending cash, shouldn’t it at least be productive?
So, this year, I thought I’d break down my shopping sources and offer a few alternatives to the large retail chains/departments stores, and maybe inspire some to think outside the “big box”
Anti-Retail Christmas Shopping Ideas
ST JUDE’S CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL – Always first on my list is St Jude’s Gift Shop. I shop here first, because 100% of the profits go back to St Jude’s. They have an amazing on-line Gift Shop as well as a print catalog, where I can usually find a little something for everyone on my list. They really and truly have my heart! You can read more about it in a post I wrote a couple years ago, about giving Christmas gifts that make a difference.
SHOPPING SMALL – I am all about showing some love to locally owned businesses. You can pretty much buy anything you can find in a super store, from a smaller shop. Possibly even better quality and Made-in-America type things too! And picture this: for every $100 we spend in small businesses, up to $75 stays in our local communities, as opposed to just $13 when we shop big box or chain stores. People spend hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars during the holiday season. Imagine all the good that can be done in our local economies if we injected some of those funds into our own neighborhoods??? I can’t even. I just literally can’t.
ETSY – I also do a lot of my Christmas shopping in the on-line marketplace where fellow crafters, and collectors sell their handmade goods and vintage finds. Etsy is also near to my heart, because that is where I sell my reLoved Signs. With every purchase I make on Etsy, I like to think I have just helped a retired couple trying to supplement their fixed income, a single mom crafting to make ends meet, or even a budding entrepreneur on the verge of saving the world!
And honestly, that feeling of giving a unique gift, is just beyond! A few years ago, I gave these personalized Hand Stamped Pennies to my whole family… (whether they wanted them or not!!) Last year, I was able to score a 1988 Steve Yzerman Christmas ornament for my dear friend who is an absolute Red Wings / Yzerman stalker. The way her eyes lit up, as she looked at me in amazement… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!! Those types of reactions are priceless, and you just don’t get that kind of
gratification true joy giving a toaster or bubble bath. Ya know w’am sayin’?
SECOND HAND – I am not above buying second hand gifts. I mean I wouldn’t give my boss used Birkenstock Sweater Shoes or anything, but try and keep an open mind here… I am not only referring to Goodwill or Habitat ReStore (both in my opinion, are are excellent non-profit organizations)… But also think of Craigslist and all those FaceBook buying and selling groups that clutter your news feed! There are tons of families in need, selling off unwanted items to make a little extra cash before Christmas. When I think in terms of my Christmas dollars helping someone else, what better way to keep my money local AND directly help out families at the SAME time?
Here’s a little gem I just picked up for my grand-baby. A Fisher Price Grand Dollhouse off Craigslist for $40. It retails on Amazon.com for $299.95 (I know!!?! Right??) It’s in perfect condition!! With a little cleaning, it will be good as new… My grand-baby is going to be absolutely thrilled, and not at all concerned that I purchased it second hand. The bonus here is, my small contribution just helped a local family with Christmas for their kids. …And just think of all that annoying cardboard packaging that won’t be going to the landfills! I call that a win-win-win!!
HOMEMADE – Yep! Saved the best for last If I can make anything myself, instead of buying it, you bet I will! Pinterest is full homemade gift ideas, the possibilities are really endless. You can check out the Gift Idea’s board I’ve created for a little pin-spiration. I have a few projects in there I am currently working on, that’s helping my family save a little money as well.
So this year, when Black Friday comes, I’ll be waking up before the crack of dawn to dress in my warmest clothes. While all my family is sound asleep, tip-toe out the front door… to rush off to the garage and work on all those handmade gift’s I’ve got planned out! I absolutely cannot wait!!
With that, I’d like to wish you and your family a blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving Holiday… I am so very grateful for all the readers of my little blog, Thank you!
Jana Marie Funderburg
You, my dear, are simply awesome!
Aw, thank you so much Jana! Happy Thanksgiving!