My Local/Independent Holiday Shopping Experience

by Sunshine & Vanilla

As some of you may recall, I said I was going to try and do all of my holiday shopping through independent and/or local retailers for the 2012 holiday season. So the big question, how did it go?

On a scale of 1-10, I would rate it a 9.  I purchased 90% of my gifts from small, independent and/or local retailers. So far as gifts for my family are concerned, I do things on a price point basis. My nieces and nephews are one price point, my brother and sister in law are up a bit, my folks are a bit further up from there.  The two items I purchased from the large retail chain were add-on items to make the other indie gifts hit the right price point area. And they were add-ons purchased on Christmas Eve in a flurry of “Oh No! I don’t want to gyp these people!”

I will say this about shopping locally, it took significantly more time and thought that purchasing from major retailers. It’s much easier purchasing from someone’s Amazon wishlist than trying to find just the right thing. Additionally, many of the gifts I purchased were not “useful” items, but more of an artistic, or maybe even frivolous air. I’m sure I could have found some of the bicycle items my brother wanted at the local bike shop if I’d had more time. That was the key to the whole thing – shopping locally and independently does require a bit more finesse and a bit more time.  Unfortunately, my completely insane work schedule made shopping a little more difficult for me this year.  That said, everyone seemed quite happy with their gifts.  And not only that, I really enjoyed picking them out. Everything I purchased was purchased with a lot of care and thought, unlike a mindless clickity-click from a wishlist. It felt like a much more personalized shopping experience for me this year, and that really brought me back to the true meaning of the holiday.