Last year I set out do do what I thought was impossible: buy all of my Christmas presents at locally owned businesses in Chicago.
Fortunately, local culture blog Gaper’s Block showed me the way: they published a 2005 holiday shopping guide. It featured 12 different independently owned stores in Chicago. While I didn’t totally succeed in my holiday mission, I did by a good portion of gifts from thse vendors.
Fortunately, this year will also be a great year for buying locally-made goods. Gaper’s Block and Time Out Chicago have tons of listings of stuff that’s going on.There are a plethora of crafty type shows, happenings, and bazaars going on this weekend in Chicago.
Why local businesses? I like putting money into the hands of people in our neighborhood. I appreciate the personal “thank you” I get from owners and craft-makers. I like getting unique gifts for people that aren’t from nationwide department stores. I like that I’m even helping the environment a little by buying locally so that goods don’t have to be transported over long distances.
To me, putting smiles on peoples’ faces and helping out is what the holidays are about.