There are lots of practical reasons to shop local for the holidays: You don’t have to pay shipping. You’re supporting your local economy. You’re keeping small businesses in business. But sometimes, I think we pay too much attention to the logical benefits of buying local, and we forget about the magic.
Holiday shopping has become such a headache. We’re fighting parking, searching for sales, or clicking through impersonal ecommerce sites, wondering if the Instagram ad we just accidentally clicked through will turn out to be a mistake. We’re doing it out of love, but it’s exhausting.
Contrast that with shopping locally. (Okay, the parking is still not that great.) But we get to slow down. To browse a carefully curated collection of gifts that are vetted by a shop owner who actually cares about their products. We feel the crisp air as we walk from shop to shop, get a hot chocolate from a warm coffee shop and take a picture by a Christmas tree. It’s fun to see these cute little shops filled with people, all excited to find something special for their family and friends.
For years, I’ve been looking for a way to share the magic and the possibilities of buying local at Christmas instead of just preaching about the benefits of shopping locally or wagging a finger at Amazon. And I think I might have found it …
I put together a Bingo card with some of my favorite things about shopping local. I included special services that most small businesses provide that you might not even know about (like free gift wrap and great recommendations). I shared some ways to buy local you might not be thinking about (like ordering pastries for Christmas morning). I included some things that cost nothing, like shouting out a small business on social media, or leaving them a Google Review. You can even win squares just by enjoying the day, like spotting a Christmas tree or saying “Merry Christmas.”
What’s the prize for getting a Bingo? Well, that’s up to you! This is just a fun, free download to help you enjoy the season — there’s no prize involved. Print one out for your sister or mom when you go shopping together; share it with friends and see who gets a Bingo first; you can even let your kids play along.
Click here to download your Bingo card for free, or find me on Instagram at @crollwagen, where I’ll be sharing it in Stories. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and that you make small shops a part of that magic.
Did you know I also have a free guide to Coffee Shops in Birmingham? When you sign up for my email list, check your inbox — you’ll get the free PDF with info on over 40 shops within the hour!