It's still November, yet they've already begun playing holiday music on the radio! And we all know what that means... it's that special time of year where we're all frantically trying to make sure that we've checked off our neighbors, friends, family members, and loved ones off of our holiday shopping lists. Most of you are probably still putting your lists together, while some of you may have already kicked off your holiday shopping at Local First Arizona's Certified Local Fall Festival this past Saturday! Regardless of where you stand with your holiday shopping, Local First Arizona wants to make it easy for you to support your local economy while you spread the holiday cheer.
By shopping at local businesses this holiday season, you'll be supporting the mom & pop stores and keeping your money in your local economy and community. You'll also find many unique gifts that will surely impress your friends! If we all pledge to keep our holiday shopping local, we can have an enormous impact on our community and our state, and we'll be able to ring in the new year knowing that we are all committed to making Arizona a better place.
Below, you will find tips and ideas for how you can easily shift your holiday spending. Whether you're hosting a party, cooking a meal, or shopping for presents to put under the tree, we'll show you how you can support local in every aspect.
To sweeten the deal, we're sponsoring a holiday shift contest! Simply email [email protected] and tell us how you are shifting your holiday spending to be entered to win a fabulous prize from a local business:
- $200 gift certificate to Imagine Wellness Chiropractic
- Ten class pass to Floating Lotus Yoga
- Memoir creation from Tara Fort (includes a 1 hour phone interview to create a memoir based on a theme like "10 Best Lessons I Have Learned," "My Favorite Memories of My Kids," and more)
- $50 gift card to Blue Burrito Grille
- One hour therapeutic massage from Desert Song Yoga
- Maintenance agreement good for Spring & Winter heating & cooling tune up from Premier Air Solutions
- Lube, oil & filter from Community Tire
- A gift package from Arizona Sunrays: 1 month free gym or dance classes, 1 free kids night out, $30 discount on birthday party package, 2 free open gym passes, Sunrays tshirt, Sunrays water bottle
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.
- 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.
- Give a gift that keeps on giving with a local magazine subscription.
- 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.
- Send your gifts to out-of-town friends and family using local mail service and supply stores.
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.
- Find the perfect party dress or outfit from a local clothing store.
- Visit (or hire for a house call!) a locally owned salon or spa or massage therapist 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:
The Polar Express in Williams
November - January
Celebrate the Holidays in Tucson
November - December
High Country Holidays in Flagstaff
November 11 - January 7
Red Rock Fantasy in Sedona
November 17 - December 31
ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo
November 24 - January 8
November 25 - December 17
Tempe Fantasy of Lights
Opening Night Parade: Saturday, November 26
Boat Parade: Saturday, December 10
Frances & Smeek's Crafeteria in Phoenix
Friday, December 2
Holiday Events in Prescott
Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden
2nd Annual Phoestivus Market at the Phoenix Public Market
Wednesday, December 14 & Wednesday, December 21
Holidays at the Heard Museum
December 26 - January 2