The Joy of Giving

The Joy of Giving

Anticipation of Celebrating

I’ve been shopping local early this year. For Christmas. Yep, it’s still October and I said it. I am usually very loud in my disapproval of all things Christmas before the third week of November. I don’t want to race past Halloween and Thanksgiving and I am not this year either. But instead, I’m adding in the anticipation of celebrating and joy of gift giving earlier this year. I’ve noticed that I don’t seem to be the only one with this mindset.


Seeking the Comfort of Christmas

A favorite store in Grand Rapids and another here in our town have already reset their stores for the holiday season. My daughter and I couldn’t wait to go, and their store didn’t disappoint! Packed to the rafters with everything Christmas, I was giddy to scoop up wonderful gifts for family members and so happy to support a local small business. While chatting with the owner, he had found that instead of the normal backlash to Christmas-too-soon, customers welcomed the change and were seeking the comfort the Christmas season can bring. And by the number of people visiting his store, I believe he is right.

Even Hallmark is getting into the Christmas spirit earlier than normal, launching their Countdown to Christmas movies this past weekend. A Christmas movie will air literally every day from now until December. I have to admit, I’ve already watched one. Guilty pleasure.


Celebrating in Little Ways

I’ve also noticed the increase in the call to shop local this holiday season in light of the many hardships small businesses have faced this year. I am not only shopping local, but shopping small businesses online, supporting other makers, and giving gifts that are more personal. In the months ahead, I’m looking forward to celebrating in little ways through the season, not racing through the days, but rather focusing on personal experiences and gifts for my family and friends that bring comfort and joy. We can all certainly use more of that.

I draw the line at Christmas music though, it’s just too early for that. Maybe next week.

Jennifer Smelker

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