Worried about that pesky supply chain? Local gifts to the rescue!
As yet another pandemic festive season barrels down upon us, our thoughts turn to making the hopes and dreams of our loved ones come true. Of course, here at vLife, we want you to think local gifts first. And this year, taking a buy local approach has even more benefits than usual.
If I’d told you in February 2020 that the words “supply chain” would pepper your everyday conversation and become the ultimate pandemic cliché, you probably would’ve laughed at me. (Then again, there are lots of things I could have said to you in February 2020 that you’d have laughed at… AND there are lots of pandemic clichés.)
Yet here we are — up to our eyeballs in supply chain chit chat. Whether you’re looking for a new car, a fancy exercise bike, or some deluxe sneakers, this gosh-darned supply chain thing is throwing a wrench into everything from grocery shopping to taking advantage of Black Friday 2021 deals. (This Forbes article explains why.)
So, obvs… local gifts are the solution!
Buy early, buy often, buy local gifts.
If you follow this blog, you already know some of my thoughts about Black Friday and upping your shop local game a little every year by buying more from local artists, local makers, and local small business. The same goes this year: By all means, Google “best buy black friday” and lock down those AirPods (or AirPods 2, or AirPods Pro). But now more than ever (another pandemic cliché! Yikes!), turning to local for festive gifts has enormous benefits.
You likely already know how important it is to shop local: Your holiday gift ideas are more personal, you’re supporting your local economy by keeping cash HERE, you’re building the broader economy (’cause small businesses make up the majority of businesses in Canada — by far!), and you’re reducing your carbon footprint by limiting shipping. And this year, you’re also supporting your community after a long, hard, 20 months. What’s not to love?
Christmas markets are fun — and social!
If you’re like my husband (not like me, because I am quite honestly not that organized), you’ve already started stockpiling holiday gifts. One of our (okay, HIS) favourite shopping strategies is to hit the local holiday markets.
There is literally an embarrassment of riches when it comes to holiday markets in Nova Scotia, from charming village fairs to big shows like Christmas at the Forum and the Craft Nova Scotia Winter Craft Show. A simple “craft shows Nova Scotia 2021” Google search will bring up dozens of markets, from now till mid-December. 24 Christmas Markets & Holiday Craft Fairs in Halifax – 2021 is a great resource as is this Discover Halifax post highlighting all things festive in the city this season.
And you know what? It’s pretty nice to get out and meet the folks who are making the stuff you’re buying. It feels good, and reminds you that talking to people in person is normal, and you should maybe do it more often.
Farmers markets are also a great place to find unique, handcrafted gifts and of course, local food. And if you don’t want to venture far from home, many markets have online options, like Alderney Market in Dartmouth, the Truro Farmers Market, Noggins Corner Farm in Wolfville, and many more. (Lots of markets also offer local pickup or delivery RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR!)
Get those early Black Friday deals.
I want you to get those Black Friday deals. Truly, I do.
But supply chain, supply chain… blah blah blah. Yep, if you’re gonna get those bargains, don’t bother searching “when is black friday 2021?” — ’cause it doesn’t matter. The early Black Friday deals are happening now. And if you want the Lego Friends Magical Funfair Rollercoaster or a Skincare Mini-Fridge (yes, that is a real thing), you’d best whip out that credit card and order ASAP.
Everyone is publishing guides to those early deals, including the National Post’s Best Black Friday deals in Canada 2021. So do a little digging and click your way to happy teenagers.
But Green Friday is good, too.
Or! You could embrace Green Friday! According to this Bustle article, Green Friday (or the “anti-Black-Friday movement”) was established to raise awareness about the impact of our shopping habits on the environment and human rights. And guess what? Green Friday has its origins right here in Canada, with Buy Nothing Day. And if you own a business, this article from EcoCart on how Green is the New Black (Friday) is pretty interesting, too.
While celebrating Buy Nothing Day is pretty straightforward (until you actually try to go a whole day without buying anything!), Green Friday takes a slightly different approach by challenging us to choose sustainable brands, eco-friendly products, or not shop at all. Obviously, shopping for locally-made products is the BEST way to get on the Green Friday train. But there are plenty of sustainable brands in Black Friday deal mode, too!
Handcrafted gifts, local food, and cool experiences by vLife providers.
I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point you in the direction of vLife’s Local Gifts providers, now, would I? We’re talking art, fashion, jewellery, food, beauty and lifestyle products, and much more.
I’m also a huge fan of consumable gifts. Look no further than our Food and Drink providers, Beauty providers, and our Tour and Explore providers! And of course, my personal favourite, our Fashion and Style providers. 🙂 In fact, every single vLife category has something to offer in terms of creative holiday gift ideas.
(Can I give a little shout-out to my new favourite spot, Eunoia Lifestyle Shop on Almon Street? So many beautiful things in this Black-owned business, at lots of price points. I love it!)
Don’t forget to treat yourself.
I usually leave you with a little advice… here it is:
I think a lot of us are feeling a bit worn out. So when you’re shopping local for all those special someones, pick up a little something pretty for yourself. You deserve it. And when the compliments start rolling in, take pleasure in sharing where you picked up that choice item, knowing you’re paying it forward and keeping it local.
Lots of love from me to you this November! ♥