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10 Ideas for Keeping Holidays Local

Why waste gas and fight crowds to shop for the holidays? You don’t have to look any farther than our Renton community to find quality, unique, meaningful holiday gifts. Here are ten ways you can...

Why waste gas and fight crowds to shop for the holidays? You don’t have to look any farther than our Renton community to find quality, unique, meaningful holiday gifts. Here are ten ways you can reduce stress and enjoy your holiday season while finding the perfect gift for loved ones.

1. Hand made gifts. When you give hand made gifts, you give a bit of yourself. Need ideas? Pinterest abounds with ideas for handmade gifts, and we’ve pinned a few to get your creative juices flowing. Don’t want to make it yourself? Consider the goods of many local artisans and crafters to be suitable alternatives.

2. Gift a service that you can do yourself. Think of a service that you can provide that will bring joy and/or relief to the ones you love. A few ideas are: one hour of housekeeping, one evening of babysitting, or one home made dinner delivered. For kids you could offer one hour of bubble blowing (see the tutorial for this easy homemade wand that makes epic sized bubbles), an afternoon of bike riding or crafting together, or one batch of home made cookies of their choice.

3. Gift services at locally owned businesses. You could give gifts for massages, manicures, or pedicures, but anyone can think of those. Why not give a helicopter ride, or tickets to Renton Civic Theater performances?

4. Gift a class together.  Get creative, take a class. Right now “sipping and painting” services are very popular, and fun to do with friends or family. Glass Blowing or acting classes make great gifts for the person who has everything. The City of Renton’s What’s Happening booklet is full of classes that would make excellent gifts.

5. Gift a membership. Wine of the month club, anyone? There are several small independent wine stores with great deals on wine clubs. With the New Year right around the corner, membership to a local fitness center would be a welcome gift.

6. Donate in someone’s name. Make a contribution in your loved one’s name to their favorite local charit

7. Gift a meal at a locally owned restaurant. It’s hard to think about gifting food during this season of overindulgence. Just remember that after the excitement of the holidays dies down, and the reality of our 9-month rainy season sets in, a meal at a local restaurant could be a nice distraction.

8. Buy gifts from locally owned businesses. Local Businesses often have special or unique items you may never find anywhere else. Plus the staff will give you the attention to help you pick out the perfect gift that you may never receive at the big box store.

9. Buy from thrift shops, consignment stores, or used book/music stores.There is no shame in giving used gifts. As a matter of fact, it is quite green and trendy! If you’re looking for a truly unique gift, consider browsing one of our many antique stores, consignment shops, or used bookstores in downtown.

10. Use cash or debit cards, not credit. Whenever you can, use cash. Convenience aside, credit cards cut into the profits of local businesses by charging them for each transaction. If you must use your debit card, allow the merchant to choose “debit or credit” for themselves, as often one fee is higher than the other for them. Cash keeps more money in the local business person’s pocket so they can continue to thrive.

RelyLocal Renton is your resource to find a great service, restaurant, store, or consignment shop for that perfect local holiday gift. You can find most anything on your holiday shopping list there! Be sure to look for the RelyLocal Renton logo on the door of your favorite local business.

How do you plan to keep the holidays local? We welcome your thoughts in the comments below.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sonja Bowden November 26, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Just want to say, Ian, yours was a very well-written blog post with good links, information and helpful ideas. I look forward to more of your writing.
Ian Liddle November 26, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Sonja, we appreciate your feedback whether positive or negative, but we really like pats on the back! Thank you for the nice words! We hope to continue providing you with engaging, helpful articles. -Amanda & Ian Liddle

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