LOVE local for the Holidays
In theory, loving local is great idea. Everyone knows someone who is embracing small business life and trying to make a go of it. It's hard sometimes to imagine finding the time to skip the grocery stores, malls and the comfort of our cell phones to get out and support local businesses through an already hectic time of year. (Though no one would argue it's 100% worth it and makes you feel REALLY good when you do!)
There's plenty of ways to support local (and the local economy) through the holidays:
Order your turkeys, hams, roasts and breakfast meats from a local butcher. Some might even deliver to your local farmer's market to make it more convenient for you to pick up. There's no doubt you'll wind up with a delicious product! The Farmer's market is also a great place to shop from a number of local vendors at once! Try our locally-sourced pepperettes from Stemmler's and Bright cheese bricks for your next party platter!
Take a half-day on the weekend and drive to one of SW Ontario's gorgeous cities or towns to explore their downtown core. You'll find lots of unique shops and gifts to buy for everyone on your list. Some stores might even extend their return policies to help you get a head start on your shopping.
Mom (and Dad)-preneurs
We've all got a friend of a friend who started a side-business to support their families. Some crochet, others do beautiful woodworking. You'll find painters and bakers and (most-likely) candlestick makers all hoping you'll pop over to their social media pages and holiday craft shows to buy from them. Even if the products aren't locally-sourced, they still DIRECTLY impact these local families. It helps them put food on their tables and skates on their kids. So buy the leggings, thermal totes, spices and mixes, the wax melts, the oils and the cleaning cloths. Cos it our books, it still counts, as loving local for the holidays.
Find a local chocolate or cheese shop, florist or brewery to buy from for your host gifts. Many will have extended hours to make it easier to stop by on your way to the feast!
You get a gift card and YOU get a gift card!
Not sure what to buy? Pick up gift cards from local businesses. Theatre companies, locally-owned restaurants and retail shops are the perfect gift that keeps on giving! Too far? Call and ask them to mail you a gift card to give, many are happy to even pay for the stamp.
Find your Village
Do allllll the local stops feel daunting? Find friends and family who want to love local too and help eachother by picking up at different spots. One friend could make a trip to the farm, butcher or cheese shop for pre-ordered meats and nibbles. Another could grab some extra brews or freshly-roasted coffee beans for quick host gifts. Your friend who works at that charming liquidation place in Drumbo would be tickled to drop off some gift certificates. Explore village mentality and work together. Everyone wins when you support the businesses owned and operated by the people in your neighbourhood.
Where are your favourite places to love local?