Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wishing a Very Local Christmas to You

I have very limited means. The gifts I give will largely be small, and not a ton of them at that. So probably I am not going to change the economy single-handedly. But I gotz minions, yeah? All of YOU could make this a real voice, right? (please?)

The idea is simple. Big business has forgotten us. They have mistreated us and ruined the economy. Now if everyone just put their money under a mattress we could spiral into a depression and we don't want THAT. But what if instead, we spend the same amount of money, but we spend it in businesses where we KNOW the people who are running it? What if we buy gifts from artists—where the money directly pays for their supplies and then provides their families with income—no loop through the banks—no hefty overhead. Money just doing what it's meant to do—providing desired goods to US for gifts, and needed income to the people who have actually done the work.

If you don't have a great local selection, may I suggest shopping via Etsy? Or at least investigating craftspeople who are selling their wares online.

Now I do plan to give some items that can't really be purchased this way—books, movies and the like. But the primary gifts for at least half of my people will be centered around artistry.

It's easy, really. I mean sure, it requires some thought about what your loved ones like, but limiting to a domain where you can find something home made that perfectly suits them—there is something liberating about it. I know for my parents and boss I am much happier with the ideas I've got than I have been with gifts I've found browsing stores.

I hope I'm not too late with this message—surely many of you still have gifts left to buy. As for me, I know some talented jewelry makers, knitters, quilters, crafters, photographers.

So I just thought I'd give you a sampling of some pictures I really love. The photographer is a high school friend of mine, Mike Hudson...



I love the variety of subject matter he has, and that the things he chooses are local to where I grew up, and therefore meaningful to people from the area.

So that was my little holiday political plea... but it's not really politics at all. It is community, and close to home. Or that's how I see it.

17 comments:

Trisha said...

Great sentiment Hart, and a great idea! I can't stand shopping at big chain places, I'd rather go into little boutiques and the like. I even shop at smaller green grocers and pay a bit extra, just so I can avoid the big ugly giants (here in Western Aus they're Coles and Woolworths).

Christine Murray said...

I totally agree with you on this one Hart. Great message for the season. You're right - it's about community.

Laura said...

I'm with you in this 100%... having been an etsy-type seller in the past with my artwork, it's amazing what a huge difference this kind of mindset makes
Lxxx

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love this idea. It really does make so much sense. Love your friend's photography!

Shelly said...

Very well said.

Old Kitty said...

Hopefully many will follow your most NAKED lead, lovely Tart!!! Or adopt goats and animals from Oxfam for poor families! :-)

Take care
x

Hart Johnson said...

Thanks so much, everyone! And yes, Jenny-that is another great one--providing for others is an especially great lesson for kids.

Jan Morrison said...

Right on Tartlette! This is what I do - and even for books for kids I try and find local authors and local publishers. Not so hard to do. The thought of entering a mall this time of year is creepy to me. But then I'm an old hippy and I know who the devil is - the urge in my heart to have what the other kids have still beats strong but I resist. I'm going to talk about this soon in Living the Complicated Simple Life - stay tuned!

GigglesandGuns said...

November 26 around here was he mass shop at with your local owners. I find my gifts at the church sales in our neighborhood. They make all the things and sometimes as you watch.

Mary

Southpaw said...

I love those photographs.

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

I'm gonna buy a lot of stuff locally.

Enid Wilson said...

Agree! My BF likes to make things from recycle materials too. I think Xmas is too commercialised nowadays.

My Darcy Vibrates…

Johanna Garth said...

Beautiful photo! Buy locally! Done, of course Portland is kind of a huge hub of buy local so that's an easy one. Love your xmas sentiments!!

Helena said...

Great suggestions! I bought a gift (and something for me) on Etsy two weeks ago and love it. And yes, Hart darlin', you're right about buying locally and from small mom-and-pop shops.
May I make a small suggestion? When buying from those small local places pay cash. The U.S. is one of the few industrialized countries that doesn't regulate what credit card companies can charge in fees from merchants. I've talked to small shop owners who HATE the CC companies (Bank of America, Citibank, etc.) because of those high fees. Hence the signs you may see that say things like "No Credit Card Charges for Purchases Under $5." This is because they actually lose money on small credit card transactions.

Cold As Heaven said...

I agree. I always try to avoid the big malls and big stores. The Economy is just the infinite sum of all our infinitesimal contributions. In total, our choices can make a difference >:)

Cold As Heaven

Hart Johnson said...

You guys are the best! Thank you so much everyone! And great point on the cash!

mshatch said...

I'll definitely be shopping locally this season.