Shop Local & Wrap Local!

I try to be a serious person (mostly), but I really love gift wrapping. I like getting creative with paper and string and creating a package that feels personal and creates a little bit of excitement under the tree. I collect ribbon scraps … I actually enjoy baking the hundreds of clay stars we’ve used on holiday wrapping at Church Street over the years (well, I mostly enjoy it) … I once made personalized Shrinky Dinks tags for everyone in my family. I’m not saying my finished packages are all that impressive, but I really enjoy putting them together, and I think they make my gifts a little bit more special.


But I know lots of people don’t like wrapping this much. It often gets left until the last minute and then it’s just one more thing on the endless to-do list before Christmas. This year, I want to change that — and a few of my calligrapher friends and one of my favorite coffee shops, Urban Standard, are going to help.


A week from today — Tuesday, December 16 — we’re having a Localist Gift Tag Party at Urban Standard, complete with a Calligrapher Bar. Five local calligraphers have agreed to come and donate their services, so when you buy a book, you’ll get a little pack of gift tags to have personalized with gorgeous calligraphy — for free. A few of the calligraphers are also bringing some of the tags and goodies that they’ve already created, and they’ll be available to buy. Every Localist book you buy will be gift-wrapped, and I might even bring a few of those clay stars so you can grab a handful for your gifts.


I’m really excited about this event, and I’m so grateful to Urban Standard for hosting (so we can all load up on mochas and chai) and to all the calligraphers who are donating their time: Holly Hollon, Sarah Ragan, Sarah Brown, Abby Newberry and Kelly Cummings.


Why hold a gift-wrapping party for The Localist book? Because it’s fun and creative. But it’s also because this can be a great season to start thinking about shopping locally — when we look to independent stores for our presents, we’re more likely to find really special gifts that help us recognize the unique, amazing qualities in the people in our lives. These are the gifts that can create the special bonds and memories that the holidays are really about. And if we put all the time in to find local gifts, why not take a few minutes to make the wrapping extra-special, too?


(Oh, and want a preview of work by a few of these calligraphers? Stop by the Very Merry Holiday Soiree and Pop-Up Shop today and tomorrow at The Nest in Avondale — they’re open 3:30 to 7:30 Tuesday and Wednesday!)

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