I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. I know it was different and I know some of you were feeling very alone. My prayer is that in the midst of whatever Thanksgiving looked like, you were able to be thankful. One thing about this pandemic, it has opened our eyes to what we do have and to be grateful every day.
Now we move on to Christmas.
In case you have not been absolutely flooded with emails today, it the national holiday of consumerism known as “Black Friday.” Which in true American marketing fashion we have actually been treated to since early October.
So in light of the fact that we suddenly are aware of multiple opportunities to save tons of money on things we didn’t even know we needed, I am offering a few little insights and tips that might prove helpful. I also want to share some encouragement to shop small and shop local.
Here we go:
Delete all emails with promotions unless you specifically had planned to purchase from that store. Don’t let mass marketing dictate your Christmas list. Think and pray about what you are gifting and then shop rather than shop the ads and overspend.
Constantly remind yourself that a gift is just a token of love. You can gift your people all year long with little acts of kindness so don’t feel like all the love you have needs to be expressed in wrapped packages under a tree one day each year.
Think about how you can bless small businesses in your area while you are blessing your friends and family through your gifts this year. If your family/friends live in another city, consider supporting a business that is local to them and order though that store for their gift.
Yes, you can probably save money ordering online from Amazon, but in the long run you will be hurting the local economy of our home communities.
Give less and bless your neighbors who own stores, restaurants and businesses.
Perhaps you have been burned by purchasing gift cards from a restaurant that closed before the card was redeemed. How about treating a young family or couple who can’t get out to a meal from a local restaurant NOW..instead of a gift card, pick up dinner for them and deliver? And leave a nice tip when you pick it up. Blessings abound on that one.
I saw the following post on Instagram #shoplocal and I couldn’t amen it enough. Having worked for corporate retail and then a small, locally owned shop I can’t tell you how much your support means to our local businesses and economy.
Here are some ways your “word of mouth” can help defer the cost of advertisement and boost local shops and services:
Write a positive review
Tell your friends and family – you can do this verbally and in a post on your social media feed.
Follow them on social media
Engage in their posts- make comments, answer their question. Tag a friend in your comment.
Give them a shout out – tell about the great service or the cute stocking stuffer you picked up.
Sign up for their newsletter.Post from @goodjobs_eu
Your “likes/loves”, shares and comments of a post from a local business helps bring that post into the feeds of other people. Your post giving a shout out to a restaurant, shop or service in our community is huge. You speaking positively in conversation with people you know about where you shop is so helpful. If you are on Facebook locally there is a page called “Support Decatur IL small business.” You can share your own experiences with local business and find others to support.
Friends who sell products are also a great place to shop. You bless them with business and can find practical gifts for your family that will be used up instead of just things to add to the clutter of their home.
If you have family who tend to ask you what you would like for Christmas, point them in the direction of a local business you want to support.
I know this is not my usual Friday encouragement, but with all that is happening in our world and with a focus on global issues, we need to remember we live in a community among people whose lives are interwoven into our own. Prayerfully consider how you can invest locally this holiday season.
Okay…I am done…thanks for considering shopping small and local.
Just know you are loved…that’s the main thing.