This holiday season, I want to encourage people to shop local/shop small. While the big online and big box stores have been a blessing during the pandemic – and we are all grateful for the services they provide – they are doing pretty well right now. That cannot be said of the countless local/small business operators/vendors/artists/craftspeople. Doors are closing that may never be opened again and we are going into a winter that looks like it is going to make the first wave of the pandemic a walk in the park by comparison.
Within your local community – your circle of friends and family – I am certain there are people who have small businesses. Please consider buying from them first this holiday season. The cheer you spread will not only be to those receiving the gift – but a welcome addition to the lives and dreams of those who are struggling so hard to stay afloat.
Not planning on giving? You are not alone! This year there are so many still without work and more may be out as cities try to get a handle on Covid-19. I urge you to fight against the fatigue of staying in/staying away. It stinks. Wearing a mask is a pain (sometimes literally). But EVERY generation comes up against a test of what they are made of.
Our grandparents had WWI and/or WWII (depending on your age). Some faced the horrific Flu Pandemic of the early 1900s. Our parents faced Korea, the polio epidemic, the Great Depression. More recently we have faced economic black holes, Vietnam, Desert Storm and related conflicts, the AIDs crisis. We have seen the horrors of terrorism in Oklahoma City, and in New York. Some of us have survived several of these crises.
We CAN get through this.
We WILL get through it one way or the other – but I hope that we can get through it with grace, humor, a sense of care and obligation to those around us – and push back on the very human urge to give in and give up and be selfish about what we “want” and think “we deserve”.
Shop local/shop small if you can. It helps. If you cannot shop these days, then just help your neighbor keep moving forward with a kind word, perhaps a helpful hand (masked and at a safe distance). We can all be mindful and thankful for the graces of each day. God bless and keep you and those you love.