The magic of the season

by Lisa Derfus

All of us are confronting some kind of challenge in our lives right now due to due to the economic situation our country faces. At first I pulled the proverbial covers over my head and hoped that in time everything would just take care of itself. Someone–I had no idea who that “someone” might be–would sweep in during the night, wave their magic wand, and all would be well in the morning.

Well, guess what? It didn’t happen. At some point it dawned on me that I may actually have to do something. I would need to wave my own magic wand of sorts. And then, it hit me. I knew exactly what I could do to help, and the beauty of this concept is that everyone can take part. I am up for the task, but the question is, are you?

The answer so simple and has always been right in front of us. Shop local. That’s it. Shop local. By performing this simple act we can have a tremendous impact on our local economy. Local business owners work tirelessly everyday to bring you the best they have to offer. Their financial lives are on the line as they attempt to keep their doors open and their dreams alive. When we shop at our local businesses this holiday season and throughout the year, we are working together to nourish those dreams. Now that, my friends, is downright magical in my book.

Make the switch. A great way to start is by visiting your local farmers’ markets. Buy jams or jellies, gourmet olive oils or loose leaf tea at any one of the artisan booths or pick up a bar of homemade soap that will slip perfectly into a stocking. Choose from a vast array of seasonal produce for your next meal. Don’t forget your furry friends, home-made dog biscuits and treats. Get to know your local purveyors because they ARE your neighbors. They are your community and you need to hear their stories.

Some of you may already be doing these things. Keep up the good work! Let others know what you are doing and encourage them to do the same. Together we can make a difference in not only our lives, but to the people that matter the most. This is a win-win concept that we will all benefit from. Commit to the community–shop local. Shop at your local farmers’ market. Dust off that wand of yours, and let’s get out there make some magic.