Best said by John Denver, "the season is upon us now, time for gifts and giving." When we think about holiday shopping, we often think of the quickest and most efficient way to fill up the space under our trees, but as we enter a new year faced with economic hardships, this is an opportunity to rethink how we shop for the holidays.
To start, consider which stores you will support this year. Will it be big corporations or small local businesses that will help stimulate your local economies? I am sure there are many things on your kid's Christmas list that don't exactly show up in local shops, but that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities to grab a special gift for your elders, coworkers, friends, etc. Here are a few local businesses in Tulare County that would greatly benefit from your support.
- Watson's Health Foods
- Ziayas (studio & gift shop)
- POSH (boutique)
- Mi Casa Bella (home decor)
- KTR Liquidations (40% - 60% off new merchandise)
Not only does shopping locally support your neighbors and communities during these hard times, but it also means you often will receive higher quality items or personalized customer service that can ensure you are satisfied with your purchase. With waste increasing worldwide each year, 2023 should be about quality over quantity. Instead of overbuying so you can be the biggest Santa, consider focusing on two or three quality gifts that will serve someone for years to come. That way, you can ensure you are the BEST Santa because bigger isnt always better. If you've ever seen How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you know how many of our holiday gifts end up in the trash and on Mount Crumpit each year. In fact, according to the Environment Protection Agency, Americans produce an additional 1 million tons of waste between Thanksgiving and New Year. There is work that needs to be done in our communities to cut waste, and why not start with the biggest shopping season of the year? If you find yourself stuck with gifts that are not useful to you or anyone around you, donate them! Here are a few local organizations that accept donations.
- Salvation Army
- Tulare County Family Services
- Visalia Rescue Mission
- Valley Oak SPCA (accepts blankets, pillows, and sheets)
- Gabby's Animal Rescue (accepts blankets, pillows, and sheets)
There are many great ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle around the holidays. Like we always say, it may take a village, but together we rise. One simple shift in your holiday shopping habits can make a difference in our world. There's no better time than the present.