Friday, March 1, 2013

Local Holiday Shopping

This is one of those posts I started before I got sick back in January. I warned you that there were drafts awaiting my attention. Better late than never. 

If you've been a reader here for a while, you'll know that I'm a fan of supporting our local farmers when I can. A bit of a stretch in February, particularly when I don't visit the Farmers' Market regularly. Hubby and I have one day a week off together, and I refuse to spend the morning of that day listening to loud music on a bad sound system while battling crowds of people who seem to enjoy getting up early to hang out in a noisy, sweaty room. I might as well go to the gym. Yuck. 

Wow. Sorry. That was an unexpected rant, and not at all what I wanted to talk about. It has been building up for a while now. It's been two years since it closed, but I still miss shopping at Brambles. Farmers' market customers can really get on my early-morning nerves. I don't mind if my fellow shoppers want to question the farmer about his products, but I resent being forced to wait in a migraine-inducing environment while they natter on about the local film festival. 

Oops. Sorry. Again. In spite of that piss-poor attitude, I really do like to support our local farmers. In fact, I'm in favour of supporting all of our local businesses as best as I can. Particularly when our small businesses are having such a rough time. Our little downtown seems to lose shops on a monthly basis. The consignment shop by my workplace closed its doors on Friday. Great deals for me, but another blow to our eclectic city centre.  

As shops disappear it gets more and more challenging to find what I want locally. This was particularly difficult at Christmas this year; I felt guilty each time I purchased a gift online.  It wasn't until I was going through my receipts in January that I realized I did better than I had thought.

Here's the break down:

  • I made fourteen purchases altogether.  Some of those purchases included more than one gift.
  • Three purchases were made online. Two of those were for items I had looked for locally but could not find. (Shopping for those two items led to an unplanned local purchase. Sort of a bonus gift.)
  • The other eleven purchases were all made locally. Three of those purchases included five locally made or grown items. 
In a few cases I really had to think outside the proverbial box to find an appropriate gift locally. But as a result thought went into every gift I bought, and I was able to find some really unique items as a result. My sister ended up with locally-made earrings that were fashioned from recycled bicycle inner tubes. Bet I wouldn't have found those at the mall down-island. 

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