"Making Spirits Bright" Shopping Local This Christmas Season


After a wild and wacky year (don't forget, we are still in a pandemic!) it is hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner.

Don't worry, I still have pumpkins out at my house and Thanksgiving will be given it's rightful moment in the holiday lineup.

However, for many of us, we are already planning our Christmas shopping for our friends and family. As the coronavirus continues to spread across our nation, it is easy to slip into the mindset of online shopping for this holiday season. After all, Amazon has made it so easy to make a one-stop-shop for us to get our Christmas shopping done basically in one afternoon.

But think of all the wonderful small businesses out there needing our support this holiday season, especially after a year like 2020. I am fortunate enough to live in an area that has so many small and independently owned businesses. I am making it a priority this season to shop small. I'm asking you to take that pledge with me and show your support for our local businesses, many of whom are owned and ran by our friends and neighbors.

This post includes several small businesses, independently owned companies, and various other local avenues that I plan to explore when I start looking for those out-of-the-box gift ideas for the special people in my life. I hope you do the same!

The Local Photo

Give the gift this holiday season of a photo session by booking with one of the best local photographers around, Mackenzie Schmucker at The Local Photo. Mackenzie is a life-long friend, crazy talented behind the lens, and the founder of The Local Photo. She and her husband Blake are fantastic at capturing the heart and soul of anyone that steps in front of their camera. With a slogan that reads "Visual stories of nearness and community", The Local Photo strives to bring individualized sessions that resonates with their clients. Subjects photographed range from family portraits, seniors, 'little nuggets', couple/engagement, lifestyle/in-home, and headshots/portraits. To view her work, visit her gallery by clicking here. If you wish to contact Mackenzie to schedule a session, visit The Local Photo's contact page by clicking here

Samantha Brazil, Interior Designer

Listen, we all know quarantine has left us feeling ready for an upgrade in our home or the need to get organized. However, for some of us (as well as our friends!) this can seem like a daunting task. Why not help those friends out that keep talking about getting organized or starting that dream kitchen remodel, but just feel so overwhelmed that they find it difficult to put one foot in front of the other?

Samantha Brazil, interior designer, is a magician at all things interior design and organization. She offers design consultations to help your dream become a reality in your home, be it a new color scheme, floor plan rework, new home/building custom floor plans from the ground up, master bedroom flips, home finishing upgrades...she really does it all!! In addition to her design skills, she offers organization sessions to help you get any area of your house functioning and looking fabulous. If you know of someone looking to breathe some new life into their home or needs help organizing that playroom or pantry, give Samantha a call! She would be happy to help you give the gift of inspiration or organization this holiday season. You can contact her via her website, https://www.sambrazilinteriors.com. (Check out my exclusive sit-down conversation with Samantha by clicking here!)

Burck Leather Co.

Owned and operated by Josiah Burckhartt, Burck Leather Company provides beautiful leather
accessories that accentuate any wardrobe, be it male or female. All products are hand-crafted by Josiah and are sure to serve as a statement piece that pulls your outfit together. Whether wearing one of his belts around your waist or whipping out one of his wallets to pay for dinner, you are bound to impress anyone that lays eyes on one of these beautiful leather items. I can speak from personal experience when I say that the Burck Leather Company's products are made to last and bring your wardrobe to a whole new level. My hand-crafted Burck Leather belt is my favorite belt in my entire collection and is the one I wear everyday.

Consider giving the gift of a beautiful fashion accent piece this holiday season and check out Burck Leather Company. (I know I will be!) You can check out more of Burck Leather Company's beautiful belts and wallets by visiting their instagram page or their website at https://www.burckco.com.

GreenHouse Creative

Give the gift of whimsy this year to your pet-loving family member or friend! Owned and operated by husband-wife duo, Sydney and Nash Swisher, GreenHouse Creative has introduced a fun and new way to honor your pet. Say "hello!" to a custom-made "Pet Prayer Candle." To quote GreenHouse Creative, "This Christmas, give praise to your beloved pets with custom prayer candles." These candles would make the perfect personalized gift for the fur-parents in your family. I'm pretty sure Saint Oliver of the Orchards of Most High might need one of these... ;)

GreenHouse Creative specializes in photography, graphic design, and is introducing customized gifts to their product lineup. To place an order with GreenHouse Creative, you can visit their website. You can also follow them on instagram @greenhouse_create to see more of their fun and creative personalized products revealed!

Endless possibilities...
Of course, the list of amazing local entities that are at your disposal to support and purchase from this holiday season are endless. This year, challenge yourself to think outside of the box for the gifts you plan to put inside the box. Consider giving the gift of a massage booked with a local masseuse or a spa day with a local salon/stylist. Shower your special someone with gift cards to their favorite local restaurants. Consider visiting your local florist and arranging for a monthly flower delivery to your wife or mother. These are all ideas that will not only bring about that warm-fuzzy gift giving feeling to you and yours truly, but will also ensure that those treasured local businesses are able to keep their doors open and their families happily gathered around the Christmas tree too.

If you have a favorite local business, please share in the comments below! Let's all work together to make this year a little extra merry and bright by supporting local. Remember, shop safely and wear your mask!

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