Understandably, a recent national news source article — “How Not to Pay Full Price for Anything” — caught my eye. After all, who wants to spend top dollar, especially over the holidays?
The lengthy piece covered a professional bargain hunter’s advice about avoiding large retailers’ traps intended to separate you from your money. It held my interest for about two minutes until I suffered brain freeze between the herculean hoops I’d have to jump and the time such contortions would cost me.
Every year we’re bombarded by the same old stories. New price comparison apps, hottest deals (whether the advertised crap is worth it or not), and now the death of Black Friday for newly coined “Brown Thursday” or, by some accounts, “Gray Thursday.”
So much for “Thanksgiving.”
It would all send me into a Scrooge-like funk, too, if not for the saving grace of small local businesses offering quality products, personalized service and affordable prices in convenient locations. Gifts don’t have to wrestled over in madhouses; they can be discovered in peace.
Yes, it’s time for my annual outburst, as predictable as the storyline of your favorite Christmas movie — happy ending guaranteed.
If you’re hoping for inspiration in a big box, do yourself a favor and look elsewhere. These on-the-ground equivalents of Sky Mall Magazine might be clever, but what makes sense at 30,000 feet (or in 150,000 square feet) doesn’t necessarily translate back home.
Except in a garage sale.
Feeling overwhelmed by that relentless to-do list? Take a satisfying stroll through our quaint downtown and neighborhood business centers. It’s not on you, the shopper, to be creative. Merchants who know their products as well as you, the customer (just like Santa), have already done the work.
To get you started, I’ve chosen 12 of my favorite items targeting various ages and interests. One recommendation deserves special mention and comes from Fit House.
In honor of local warrior/cancer fighter Ann Murray Paige, the positivity bracelet is this year’s most meaningful stocking stuffer. This package of three bracelets asks recipients to keep one and give the remaining two to anyone who does something remarkably selfless.
Offered in a variety of colors, positivity is spreading throughout Davis. Just imagine the community impact if the number of bracelets in circulation equaled the number of bicycles on our paths.
In that spirit, I encourage you to keep the season simple and shop locally — where worth isn’t a carefully orchestrated illusion. The source of true value is found in trustworthy products offered by people who truly care about our town.
Wishing you all a beautiful month of celebration!
— Heidy Kellison lives and shops in Davis. Her column is published monthly. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.