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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday shopping


the crazy, spend more than you can afford shopping season is just about to start.... it is believe that people spend roughly 700$ in Holiday shopping each year... 700$ they, most of the time, did not budget for...  700$ to impress people...  700$ more on their credit card....

I would like for us to spend that money, or much much less, on stuff that is worth it... so I have come up with rules over the last 2 Christmas seasons that I wish to share with you...  these are my own rules... you can pick and choose or just ignore them...  it's up to you!

1) Buy stuff that people will consume like food items ( home made jams or cookies for example), gift certificate to a restaurant, show tickets, gift certificate to a SPA...  this way you do not "create" more stuff that will end up in landfills... sometimes sooner than you may think or wish for!

2) Buy stuff that people need...  having something that you really need as a gift and won't have to save money to buy it is a really nice gift...  and for sure it will be used!

3) Buy local... now as I am in Canada, I like to try and buy stuff that is made in Canada... and if I cannot find, I go to the next best choice as proximity for us: made in the USA...  I try and avoid anything made in China...  for reasons I will not go over here... I have found this great website where you can by stuff made in Canada on line if you like to shop online....  This way, you give a decent, well made quality gift and your money stays in our country!  Plus you save the environment by not having stuff shipped by airplane all around the world!  If you need an outfit for your parties and dinner, I know that Tristan and Jacob have lots of stuff made in Canada but they also have made in China so read labels...

4) Buy fair trade - often times I try and buy fair trade items....  my 2 best places to do so are Dix milles Village  or L'Heureux Boudha.  You can visit their website for more information but basically, all they sell is made in foreign country in an environmentally conscious manner and people are paid what they deserve...  no exploitation!  In the case of L'Heureux Boudha, the owner actually go to eastern country and select all the items one by one and get them shipped here in Montreal. By buying fair trade you give a gift to your love one, one to the environement and one to the poor people who hand made the item you bought. Plus it weill be unique!  OK another one might ressemble, but not 2 can be identical as they are made by hand!

Now I know those rules are not always easy to follow...  and I must admit that sometimes I don't follow all of them...  I also must admit that finding stuff not made in China is not very easy...  but I am working on it... and trying to find options whenever I can... important thing is not to beat you up over buying somtehing that does not follow your rules....  but work on them!  Improve yourself! Rembember that every little step count!

I also have a hard time following those rules with my son... he's 12 and he knows about fair trade and "China" and how buying locally makes much more senses environmentally...  but he's still 12!!!  He likes to have what his friends or kids his age have... but I am teaching him slowly and every Christmas he gets something fair trade... and he enjoys it... and quite frankly, he sometimes ask me to go to Dix milles villages because he loves the store!!! I also recently started teaching him the value of less... but appreciate what you have...  so over the last 3 Christmas he has been getting less and less  in monetary value and he understands that too...

So for children, it might not be as easy to follow the rules but if you do not wish to suddenly make them unhappy or look like the bad one who does not gives Christmas gifts (kids do compare between themselves), go slowly... introduce them to the idea and the concept...  explain.. they are quite smart and genuinely nice so they will get it eventually...

What are you doing for Christmas presents?  Any idea on how to make it different?

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