Halloween has passed and now we face almost two months of frenzied activity and rampant commercialism. While we hold tightly to the traditions we love, there are things about the Christmas season that we probably all would like to change. Food is pretty much all traditional at our house. I may try a new cookie recipe once in a while, however, I know better than to forgo the crack-up candy and homemade cinnamon rolls. Can anyone say Mutiny on the Bounty? There are couple parties we always look forward to attending. And of course, our family has the silly white elephant gift swap, which is always good for a ton of laughs.
My passionate plea has nothing to do with changing these things. Rather, I am focusing more on decorations and gifts. I’m not going to bore you with details on how much stuff we import from China or how full our landfills are becoming. I’m assuming most of you have at least some idea of what is going on in these areas. What I am asking is that all my readers consider buying vintage and handmade gifts and decorations instead of going to (insert big box store name here) and buying cheap junk that is only benefiting the rich owners of the manufacturing companies and box stores.
Okay Helen, take a breath. There are craft fairs galore this time of year. Ask around and see which ones might have stuff that interests you. Yes, I know there are craft fairs that carry crocheted pot holders and the like. However, now more than ever you will find better shows that feature handmade items like jewelry, purses, decorations, bath products and mixed media art. Not like your sainted granny’s show!
You are literally helping your local economy when you buy from American crafts people and artisans. Believe me, if you buy something I make, I will in turn have money to buy something from someone else. And I always try to buy local first. I would much rather give someone a handmade gift than a mass-produced item that carries little thought. Okay, so I can’t crochet an iPad, but I can find really nice handmade iPad holders at craft shows and on Etsy.
There are also tons of cute, vintage decorations to be had at antique shops, flea markets and thrift stores. Again, these purchases support small local businesses.
I don’t care if you vote Republican or Democrat next week, one thing is for sure. Our economy is not going to get stronger if we don’t start making and buying products in the USA! This is not a shameless advertisement for Mossy Cottage, because I’m less interested in you buying your gifts and decorations from me (although that would be nice) as I am for you to buy from any small business or craftsman here in this country. And if craft shows are not your “thing”, then check out antique shops or shopping online at Etsy. There is really so much cool stuff out there, stuff I know I would enjoy getting, you just have to think outside the (big) box!!!!! See what I did there?