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Buy Local Buy Small Business

We are 59 days from Christmas and only 32 days from Hanukkah. And there are stories all over the news programs about the supply chain shortages. The media are sowing anxiety about what gifts and food and other products will be available this week or this month or before the holidays. They are telling us to RUN… don’t walk, don’t wait… RUN to the store. I’m starting to wonder just how much this is media trying to manipulate us, or the large companies trying to manipulate us. Is there a problem? Yes. It’s clearly visible that there are ships stuck in the Pacific waiting to be unloaded. Those ships have caused an oil leak and just the other day, a ship became unbalanced and lost containers and started on fire. So yes, there is a problem.

But, really, I am starting to think that WE are the problem. We have become huge consumers. We buy too many things that are made elsewhere. Many of us are going shopping every day. If not at the mall, then online. And that shopping is driving the huge expectations of our children that there will be a bounty of gifts under the tree.

My family has been questioning the quantity and quality of holiday gifts for several years now. A couple of years ago, pre-pandemic, we decided no “things” as gifts. We gave each other experiences. We went on a Christmas train ride and a play and a trip up to Longwood gardens. It was fantastic to just spend time together making memories. Of course that wasn’t possible last year. And this year it may be a little questionable too.

How about a local holiday? What if you chose to buy only from small businesses? Chose to buy from artisans that are local to us? People who have touched each item, who have lovingly made each and every item in their store? People who have stories about each item, like the names of the animals that made that yarn or dyed that napkin with plants grown on their own farm.

How do you find us? Well you can search for artists near you. You can find an artisan tour weekend in your area. You can ask your local facebook page where you can find local gifts.

The first weekend of December here in Maryland, you have the opportunity to do just that. Our Fiber Art Studio Tour will be on. There will be 4 small farm businesses open. And while we will have lots of yarn and roving for makers, we will also have other artisans sharing our space. So you can find felted items, glass buttons and shawl pins and earrings. You can find tree ornaments that also serve as a donation to the CF community and/or local 4H kids. You can find soaps and dish towels and cloth napkins. You can find some knitted items as well. You can find some kits for items that you can make as a family like felted soaps or dryer balls. We will even be a pick up point if you want to buy lamb for your holiday meals. To keep up to date about what artisans will be at which farm, sign up for our Fiber Art Studio Tour mailing list here.

I wish you a serene holiday season. I wish you beautiful memories of family and friends around your table or on your zoom call. I wish you health and happiness!!

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