I’m making my money do extra work this Christmas. Instead of focusing only on finding good prices, I’m trying to shop in a way that supports things I value. I’m doing this in three ways:
I’m paying money for good writing. Few people want to pay for writing now, even though we continue to need quality thinking expressed well. To counter that trend, I have made sure to purchase both books and subscriptions as gifts this year. I want excellent writers to continue being able to make a living.
Similarly, I believe in buying hand-made art from artists of all kinds. If we want writers to continue to write, artists to continue to make art, and musicians to continue to make music, we need to buy what they make.
I’m shopping locally. Instead of just going to Amazon.com, I’m seeking out small, independent stores. Unlike when I shop at big box stores, most of the dollars I spend at local stores stay in the community. If I want to live in a place that has neighborhood shops, I need to support them.
I’m buying gifts from stores that pay artisans in the developing world a living wage for their work. For instance, I love to buy jewelry and accessories from the Noonday Collection and from Purpose. For home decor and bags, Sari Bari is a great site. This year, I’ve also bought several gifts from the Preemptive Love Coalition, a humanitarian organization doing desperately needed work in Syria and Iraq.
Our dollars are votes for what kind of products and stores we want. That’s the beauty of capitalism. I have been surprised by how much more fun shopping is when I focus on what my purchases support. Even though I have paid more in some instances, it has been very satisfying.
©2016, Laura Goetsch and Thinking About Such Things