Who hasn’t felt stressed out when looking for the perfect gift for a loved one of their list? The closer we get to Black Friday, scoring the best deals becomes increasingly more urgent. As we move into December, the malls will become crowded with shoppers searching for last-minute deals and bargains to share on Christmas Day.
Gift giving is an honored tradition that gives you the opportunity to share joy with those you care most deeply for. But now more than ever, we need to make sure our purchases are meaningful. Let’s take some time to reconsider out shopping habits. Here is a simple list of ten things you can do to “Occupy the Holidays” this year. Simplify your celebrations and use your consumer power to invest in your local community.
10 Ways to Occupy the Holidays
1. Buy American.
Support local jobs, buy gifts from the many awesome American-made options available.
2. Shop locally.
Visit your local independent shops and help reinvest in your own community.
3. Buy handmade.
Everyone loves receiving a unique handcrafted gift. Check out local craft fairs and Etsy.
4. Do it yourself!
If you are so inclined, share your talents through homemade art, baked goods and craft creations.
5. Buy used.
Keep it out of the landfill! Check Craigslist and consignment sales for steals on used products in excellent condition.
6. Give service gifts.
Lessons, classes, memberships to museums or tickets to a theater all make fun gifts.
7. Choose gifts that give back.
Charitable giving in recognition of your loved one sends an important message.
8. Cook holiday meals with local foods.
Hit your local farmer’s market before they close up shop for the season!
9. Buy with cash.
Using cash instead of using credit cards helps you stay on budget and prevents the big banks from further profiting from your hard-earned money.
10. Spend less.
Budgeting is extremely important. Only spend what you can afford. No one wants you to go into debt for their gift. Create a budget and stick to it.
I have challenged myself to incorporate these ten principles in my celebrations this year. We don’t have to give up things we love to make a difference. Every action makes an impact. In a climate of record unemployment, economic bailouts for large corporations and the growing divide between the 99% and the 1%, now is the time to take a stand against the corporate culture of the Holidays in America.
What will you be doing this year to “Occupy the Holidays”? Which of these ideas could you incorporate into your plans for the season?