The Time to Shop Local is Now

It’s that special times of the year when we find ourselves rushing around for last-minute gifts, pushing through crowds, fighting for parking spaces and dealing with lost tempers. Well . . . maybe not this year.

This is a different kind of holiday season for everyone. Online shopping has soared in popularity with the ease of buying and shipping offered all in one place. However, if you’ve been relying on the big selling engines like AMAZON, please remember that your local businesses are also turning to online selling or phone-in orders with curbside pick up and delivery. Check out what’s available in your own neighbourhood and support those small business operators who’ve relied on walk-in traffic in the past. 

Food stores, gift shops, artists and art galleries, toy stores, clothing vendors, sports outlets – look them up on the internet! 

You can do a simple inquiry for an item in your town or region and see what pops up. For example, enter Art in Muskoka. That search alone yields a host of artists, galleries and shops carrying art or gift items. You can do the same type of inquiry on Facebook and Instagram and discover many businesses have set up online shops. You’re bound to find something right in your own backyard.

This has been a hard year for anyone selling products and services – the little guys are hurting. Even if you only invest a portion of your Christmas budget in your community, it will help.  Plus, you can enjoy some stress-free shopping.

Whatever and however you’re celebrating with whoever you are able, may the memories of raucous family gatherings, shared laughter and good times warm your hearts during this quieter, more reflective period. Our virtual festivities will at least allow us to see and hear our loved ones and allow us to take a few moments to appreciate the little things we so often take for granted. 

Stay safe and healthy! And remember, you’re not alone; we’re all in this together. Shop Local!

Featured photo courtesy of ARTrail Muskoka.

About the Author: Muskoka writer and visual artist Wendie Donabie paints pictures with words and flavours her creations  with alliteration, similes and metaphors. When words won’t do the job, she turns to her easel and paints what stirs her heart and soul – most often her love of the natural world. Wendie has published work in magazines and in poetry and literary collections. At this time, she is working on a murder mystery set in a forested resort area somewhere in North America. Wendie is co-founder of Muskoka Authors Association, operates Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery and is one of the organizers of  ARTrail Muskoka. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and

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