Over the past month I have been accumulating Christmas gifts for loved ones. My quest began at the Royal Bison Craft Show where I was able to cross my sister off the list with the purchase of a unique shirt from Fridget Apparel. I also found an adorable shirt for my friends little one with the phrase "spread jam not war" on it.
Over the next weeks I made a few purchases at some chain stores but was ultimately trying to make my purchases at local stores, markets and craft shows. I stopped in at Kerstin's Chocolates on customer appreciation night and purchased several luxurious chocolate bars for the chocolate lovers on my list - and one for me too! I popped into Carbon Environmental Boutique on 104th and purchased a funky bowl made from recycled paper for one friend and a handbound notebook covered with a map of Japan for another. I picked up some apple jelly from Duchess Bakeshop for family to enjoy.
I was able to cross several people off my list after a visit to the Downtown Farmers Market, and a few more after visiting the Hand Made Mafia (although I admit I shopped more for myself there than for anyone else!) At the market I was able to find delicious fudge (Fudgalicious) that tastes almost like grandma's, roasted peanuts for my grandpa to enjoy and newget from The Newget Company in a couple of flavours I thought family would enjoy. At Handmade Mafia I purchased a beautiful spoon rest from a local potter as well as cute bookmarks with picture from Dr. Seuss and Richard Scarry books.
During the final week before Christmas I visited Queen of Tarts for several small fruit cakes and pack of sables(shortbread) and holiday nuts. And finally, on Christmas Eve, I got some gingerbread cookies and pinwheels from Duchess Bakeshop.
Whew - it may have taken more energy then just a trip to the mall, but in the end I feel like my Christmas purchases actually effected our local economy and the people I know that own many of these small businesses.