How to Have an Amazing 2020 Holiday Season with a Guide to Shopping Local and DIY gifts!

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Please don’t panic but I need to talk to you about the upcoming holidays.

I know.

Please don’t hate me…yet.

I know we have almost two months until the end of the year (and there are so many holidays that fall in those two months) but I just felt like I had this incredible responsibility to talk to you guys about this.

With 2020 being what it is (or has been), I feel like we need to:

  1. Celebrate with meaning
  2. Celebrate simply
  3. Usher this year out properly (like, make sure it’s gone for good!)

I was reading some blogs that I love and I read Karen’s (from The Art of Doing Stuff) post on her Christmas Pledge (read all about it here!).

It’s hilarious, but at the same time, logical (she even has a downloadable countdown to the holidays!!), but what struck me most was her wise words on shopping locally:

“A bit about shopping locally this year. I always encourage you to shop locally for at least some of your gifts. THIS year it’s more important than in any other year – so I’m going to explain it to you in simple terms.

Think of the stores in your neighbourhood or town. Picture them in your mind and the feeling you get when you go into them.  Which ones would you miss if they were gone?  If you don’t shop locally this Christmas season chances are those stores will close.  Forever. 

The Christmas season is when small businesses like local specialty stores make up to 30% of their yearly profits. This year, that means a business that is on the brink will live or die based on your decision to shop there. You don’t have to buy all of your gifts locally (although that would be GREAT if you could.) But make a point to spend at least half of your present buying budget locally. 

I cannot state strongly enough that keeping local stores open is your responsibility. Yep. Yours. The stores have done their part. Against all odds they’ve stayed open during this shitshow of a year. The government has given aid. The landlords have forgiven rent. The local shops have paid for their stock, created the store and made it available to you.

The rest is up to you.”

Such wise words…

So, now that we have something to mull over, let’s do our best to start thinking about our local retailers (small shops selling cute wares as well as restaurants and bakeries who have been struggling so much this year – just buy gift cards from them!!). I have a handful of places around me that I’ll be buying from … you can do the same for places in your own neighbourhood. However, it’s not always about a “bricks and mortar” store…you should also look online for people who have pivoted to keep their businesses afloat. My pals Laura and Josie own the Glama Gals franchise and the have worked their butts off making sure their franchisees are good. Even they are supporting local by purchasing gifts from local retailers and packaging them as a “Local in a Box” kit. You can buy it for yourself or split it up and give them out as gifts.

Local in A Box! From The GG Sisters….order yours here!

Local in a Box- Holiday Edition

This is just one example of the many online business that have cute things to sell. I know you guys can think of so many people that you can buy from this year…and if you buy early, you’ll be ahead of the “holiday gift buying craziness” AND you’ll be helping keep businesses afloat during these trying times (when they need the cash more than ever!)

Calling all DIYers!!

I know not all of you are thrilled with the idea of making your own gifts but I truly think this is a year that more people are gonna try their hand at making at least some things from scratch! I mean, a gazillion (okay, maybe 15) people messaged me in the summer to tell me that they were growing their own vegetables for the first time ever…and it made them feel like they could do anything!! DIY holiday gifts will make you feel the same!

So, I’m going to give y’all a few tips on trying your hand at this.

How about trying to make your own cinnamon ornaments? I made these with my kids when they were little so if a 4 year old can do it, so can you!! No really, you can!

make your own cinnamon ornaments

You can do double duty with some clementine oranges …. dip the sectioned clementines in dark chocolate and then make great smelling ornaments with the skins! All the details are here!

clementine crafts

Bet ya didn’t know it’s “stupid easy” to make your own chocolates? Well, you can aaand you can personalize them to add what you love!!! You can find a post about these Christmas chocolates here!

Christmas chocolate

And you can also make your own potpourri…honestly!! It is so easy!! Check out all the deets here!

xmas potpourri


Let’s See What Other Creative People are Making!

This isn’t just about MY ideas. With the help of Pinterest, I found a gazillion (no, really, a gazillion) ideas on DIY holiday thingies!

How about making this cute Christmas morning pancakes in a jar? All the directions are here!


Or if you’re handy with a sewing machine, and have an old flannel shirt you don’t like, why not try your hand at these?

upcycle DIY Hand Warmer set

And if you have some stale bread lying around, you can also be crafty…check this out!!


Don’t Think You Can Read This and Disappear!

Well, actually, you probably can read this and disappear (because I’m not Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk or the Illuminati who know EVERYTHING about you), but I would love to hear about your ideas!!!

Please, please, please send me your holiday DIY’s (’cause I’ll probably copy them).

Let’s make 2020 a year to remember – because nothing else really exciting happened this year, did it?