I am writing this to you from the privacy and relative comfort of our RV in High Point, North Carolina. This is Market week in the furniture and home fashion world. We are spending time this week shopping new products for our store. Back at home, my kids have two birthday parties this weekend, guitar lessons, voice lessons, dance lessons, 4-H, and play practice.
Before we left I was checking off the list of all of the things I needed to arrange for the kids before we went out of town. On the list: Buy present for Lily (age 4) and buy present for Aiden (age 14). Early one morning while sipping my coffee at my kitchen island, I quickly flipped up my computer, typed in Amazon and searched “Gifts for 4 Year Old Girls”. Pink plastic junk filled my screen. I stopped. What am I doing? Yes, this is the easy way. It will show up in a box on my door in two days and my babysitter and children will have a gift to present in my absence. But…I was not Practicing What I Preach!
Later that day, I walked across the street to The Adventure Store while I was at lunch. I got to see my amazing kids briefly who were off with their school crew to explore the Clarkesville Greenway. (They go to The Adventure School that is based out of the store.) I kept my daughter, Lillian, behind a few minutes to help me shop for birthday presents. We found an adorable UNICORN neck pillow for Lily (a different Lily than MY Lillie). For Aiden, we chose an amazingly soft Adventure Store-themed sweatshirt along with a compass/camping tool/fire-starting thingie that my daughter explained to me started fire without matches. I thought it would be perfect for a Boy Scout. We got all three items along with a card Lillian picked out and a $10 sale t-shirt for Edwin. I asked for two of The Adventure Store bags to use for gift bags. We visited briefly with the two sons of the store owners who were working the register and I drove my daughter to the Greenway to meet up with her classmates.
It took me twenty minutes.
In that twenty minutes, I bonded with my daughter. I supported my friends’ business and my children’s teachers. I conversed with a couple of awesome teenage boys. I got some exercise and fresh air. AND I found some really wonderful gifts that got to my home before Amazon could have delivered them.
Fast forward to yesterday. My daughter went to the party. Since I am still in High Point, my babysitter filled me in. It was a UNICORN-Themed party. Get out. They were greeted at the door by Lily in a UNICORN shirt with tutu. My daughter whispered in our babysitter’s ear, “She’s going to LOVE her present.” I had no idea that our gift would be the PERFECT thing for this Unicorn-Loving-Princess.
Today is Aiden’s party. It’s tough to buy for fourteen-year-old boys. I know…I have one. I am hopeful, though, that he will wear the amazingly-soft sweatshirt and think that the camping tool is pretty sweet?…cool?…rad?…dope? (I have no idea what the right word is, but I’m fairly confident that all of these are wrong.)
I am going to finish up here at my make-shift work station. It’s POURING outside. We have to meet for accessory buying in an hour and I am still in my PJs! I encourage you to Shop Small. Christmas is coming and there are so many amazing little stores in your town. Build connections. Build your community. Shop small. I promise that it will make you feel good. Blessings to you and yours!