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First, I am not one for black friday. I avoid it. I don’t do well in crowded stores with racks of clothes scattered all about. I’m a list kinda gal. I know what I’m looking for, I go in, and I get out.

Also am a fan of one stop shops. I love multi-tasking. Therefore, I’m a big fan of one store in particular with a red and white logo who always seems to know EXACTLY what I need…even before I do. And usually, I’ll do my holiday shopping there. Connivence is nice.

Unfortunately, the economic situation (not just for me, but for the country) might warrant a different plan. So I propose a challenge. The downside of being a social worker is that you see the direct impact of joblessness – and homelessness. I realize that boosting the economy is key. But I am NOT a political junkie, future politician, or policy wonk. I’m someone who helps clean up after the fact – regardless of which “party” did it (I mean come on. Grow up people!). I look for areas of manageable change.

SOOOOOOOO my challenge is one to all my readers. I am encouraging us all to BUY LOCAL. BUY AMERICAN. I realize that we each can’t stimulate the economy all by ourself, but (if according to my sage social welfare professor, we all join together) we can actually do some good – if not just for the individual business owners we support. Purchasing items from local businesses or entrepreneurs online means we are putting cash back into our own communities.

So here is my own challenge:

1. Buy gifts via Etsy vendors –

I purchased a charm bracelet with photo locket for Amaya from The Dedication Company. It was PERFECT and within my budget (anything under $50 is a big win for me in the personalized jewelry department).

Additionally, I could not pass up my friend Amy’s CUTE t-shirts and oneies on her Etsy site The Striped Whale. I mean come on…. how cute is this!

2. Check out blogs for daily deals

Hello, Friend has a great Good Cheer Deal (Groupon but for us bloggers). I highly recommend checking out Danni’s blogs for great daily inspiration.

Or my faveeeeeee site for all things organizing (If you know me, you know my passion is making sure all things have their place), iHeart Organizing. She posts promos from her sponsors monthly – with great deals on some great ideas!

3.  BUY LOCAL.

Ever seen that cute store and wondered….hmmm. I wonder what’s inside. GO CHECK IT OUT. Set aside one day, invite some friends, and go shopping. Not mall shopping – sorry. LOCAL shopping. I loved living in Alexandria, VA. Old town had the CUTEST stores. And while several of them were out of my price range, I was surprised to find others filled with affordable items that would surely mean more than that candle I bought the year prior. And yes, in my price range. Tips: check out your area shopping districts, take a road trip to the neighboring city, and look up fun holiday bazaars, like The Bizarre Bazaar in Richmond, VA.

So who’s with me! Are you ready to shop?! Are you ready to check out that cute store you’ve always wanted to? DO IT! Let’s give this holiday season – to our friends, families, and local businesses.

Happy Shopping,

Erin

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