The holidays - the time of year when the calendar moves too quickly, we’re a little more exhausted than usual and our wallets are slightly emptier. It’s also a time to be thankful of the unique communities throughout our state and the people and places that make Arizona like no other place in the country. This holiday season, Local First Arizona encourages you to support your community by shifting your spending from national chains and online shops to locally owned businesses in your community. By supporting the mom and pop stores, you’ll be keeping your dollars in your home state where funds are drastically needed to support our school systems, fire & police departments and the parks systems. Money that you will be spending on gifts, entertaining and traveling can have a greater impact for Arizona residents if we pledge to keep our spending local.
To help you on the way to a local holiday season, below are some tips and ideas on how to shift your spending, from ways to localize the office party to ways you can cook locally and how to find something for everyone on your list.
And because this is the season of giving, Local First wants to give you some great prizes from locally owned businesses for shifting your spending! Simply email [email protected] and tell us how you are shifting your holiday spending and you will be entered to win one of the following prizes: a Brother MFC 7340 printer donated by Excell Direct, a framed Black & White print from John Kitts Photography, Peppermint Candy Chenille Wreath from Kooky Krafts Shop, a 1.5 liter bottle of J. Davies Cabernet donated by Penny Pinchers and 4 signed first edition books from the Poisoned Pen Bookstore! We will be doing a random drawing from all submissions; winners who submit early will have the first choice of prizes. The contest ends December 31st so be sure to get your emails in before the end of the year.
Holiday Shift tips
Shift your shopping!
- Visit the Local First Buy Local Week page to find locally owned businesses who are offering special holiday deals. Find Phoenix offers here and Tucson deals here.
- Send gift baskets from locally owned businesses.
- Electronics can be purchased from locally owned stores - many times for cheaper than the big boxes.
- Locally owned toy stores have gifts that the other kids in the neighborhood probably won’t have as well as the ‘must-have’ toys of the season.
- Check out craft stores and fairs for one of a kind items, straight from the people who make them.
- Purchase art from local artists, museums and galleries.
- Gift wrap and holiday cards can be purchased locally.
- Avoid shopping online and check out the great selection at locally owned music and bookstores. If you must shop online, try a locally owned business. Many will ship items to you upon request.
- Skip the mall studio and get the family snapshot taken by a local photographer. And check for locally owned locations to get your photos with the big guy in the red suit.
Shift your holiday party!
- Hold holiday party at a locally owned restaurant or venue.
- Hire a locally owned catering company and bartending service.
- Pick up food from locally owned grocery store or farmers market. While shopping, look for Arizona products such as Hickman’s Eggs, Cerreta’s chocolates and Shamrock Farms dairy products, Arizona wine and beer .
- Pick up decorations at a locally owned party shop.
- Hire a local florist and purchase plants from local nurseries.
- Use local DJ’s and musicians.
- Avoid the clean up by hiring a professional cleaning service.
- Visit a locally owned salon or spa to get pre-or-post party pampered. Same goes for Fido.
Shift your travel!
- Having more guests in town than rooms in your home? Put them up at a locally owned hotel or B&B. If traveling out of state, do a bit of research to find locally owned hotels, restaurants and services.
- Pick up luggage, locally!
- Use a locally owned taxi company to get from point A to B. Charter a bus for large group transportation.
- Get your auto tuned up pre-road trip at a locally owned auto service shop.
Shift your giving!
- Donate money and/or volunteer time at a local food bank, shelter, hospital or non-profit organization.
- If you are sponsoring a family for the holidays or being a Holiday Angel for children in need, shop at locally owned businesses.
Get the local holiday spirit!
Participate in the many events celebrating the holiday season throughout Arizona! Some unique happenings include:
Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden
ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo
Great Pine Cone Drop, Flagstaff
The Polar Express, Williams
Frontier Christmas Open House, Prescott