The Season of Giving

Now that the holiday season is upon us (I KNOW, RIGHT?) I’ve got a few things to mention:

Firstly, if you waited in line for hours last week in order to get a “doorbuster” at midnight when you should have been sleeping off the tryptophan hangover, I have a little secret to share: There’s this thing called the INTERNETS and you can type in the name of a large river in the Southern Hemisphere (HINT: NOT THE NILE) and TADA! Online shopping! In fact, they sell tons of stuff on there! WINNING!

You’re welcome.

An even better idea, however, is to shop local. Like, small businesses, in your neighborhood, probably owned by neighbors and friends and people you don’t like at church but smile and wave to anyway.

Yes, smaller businesses often have things for higher prices then large big-box stores and discount department stores with giant red bullseyes for a logo but when you buy from big corporate store? Your money goes to big corporate executives. When you buy from local businesses?  Your money goes to paying your neighbor’s mortgage or their health insurance or their kid’s violin lessons. And dammit, have you heard that kid play that violin? He needs all the help he can get!  So those lessons are VERY IMPORTANT.

(I know there are things you can’t get at local stores, y’all. I’m just saying if there is stuff you CAN get locally, please do so, because everyone wins. And we all like winners. Because losers are… well... losers.)

Chances are you have everything you fundamentally need in life. A place to live, food on your table, clothing… heck, if you are reading this you have internet access so I’m thinking things are going ok for you. Unless, of course, you’re getting your internet access in the library or St. Arbucks, in which case I probably shouldn’t flash you my boobs. Sorry about doing that the one time and stuff. Ahem.

But for seriously, buying useless crap for people who don’t need it? Doesn’t make you feel good about where your money goes. A few years ago I started taking small amounts of money and donating it in in the name of folks I know instead. It makes me feel good that the little money I can spend can go to people who NEED IT DESPERATELY. So I have a few ideas for those hard-earned dollars. Wanna know what that is? I’m going to tell you because after all this IS the season of giving!  Just remember, charities and organizations need money all year long, not just in December. A few of my favorites?

Kiva

Heifer, International

Clean Water Charities

Unicef

And if you want to keep it local…

Homeless Shelters

Nursing Homes

Animal Shelters

Schools and Programs for disabled children

I could go on. I’m a local supporter myself but there are many, many worth organizations. Do your research and find one that aligns with your beliefs. It’s easy!

Happy holidays. Peace on Earth. Oh, and put down that fruit cake (it’s the same one circulating since 1952).

Photo Credit

About Marj Hatzell

Marj Hatzell climbed Mount Everest, explored the Amazon and swam across the English Channel. Not really, but she's the mother of two kids with special needs so SAME THING. She prefers dogs over people, which means she has STELLAR social skills. Marj isn't a writer but she plays one on tv. Marj also goes to eleven. You can find her at her non-paying day job, the wildly unsuccessful blog The Domestic Goddess, on Twitter, and on Facebook. She also has a not-so-new and definitely-not-successful-and-ignored blog at The Crazy Dog Lady and Facebook page no one visits.

Comments

  1. Sunshine says:

    When you support large corporations, you are putting money into the hands of the millions and millions and millions of unskilled workers who HAVE to work on Thanksgiving and Black Friday because they can’t make ends meet otherwise. They do it anyway because it is just so awesome that these large corporations gave them an opportunity to feed and clothe their family. Small business owners RULE and all, but the idea that the only one who gets paid when you shop at Walmart is Mr. Friggen Walmart and his crony friends is not accurate, and the idea that Mr. Walters who owns the convenience store down the street needs violin lessons for his daughter more than Tracy the 23 year old autism mom working at Toys R Us needs health insurance (because hours get cut when sales are down) is… hmm. Not trying to be harsh, and the ethics of consumer behavior is way debatable (I’m not saying I’m right about anything) but I think people overlook that large corporations employ a lot of low and middle income people who benefit from the company succeeding.

  2. Love it! We try to shop local whenever we can. We frequent the local co-op, the consignments shops, and so forth. :-) I also love Etsy. Not local, of course, but the same idea. My dad is a small business owner-he owns a costume jewelry shop-it’s a neat place, I just wish more people would go there!

    DeBie Hive recently had a post that highlighted a bunch of stuff about Wal-Mart. I’m no fan but in our current (um, poor) situation I’ve had to go there more than I’d like. After reading that, I never want to go there again. How sad! It just reinforces me wanting to help out small businesses! http://debiehive.blogspot.com/2012/11/things-that-piss-me-off-tuesday-screw.html

    I had to think for a minute. there’s a river in the Southern Hemisphere called Google? Then it hit me what you were referring to. Oh man do I need sleep!

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  3. Hillary says:

    Hey, I like the fruitcake!

    And hooray for this post! I concur completely. Peace on Earth.

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