For those who celebrate Christmas, December is a time of buying and consuming.
Whether by impulse or design, the purchasing part of the equation has a dramatic effect of businesses. Which businesses and where they are has an equally dramatic effect on the community the spent dollars flow through, with the funds trickling from one business to another as owners do their own shopping.
Temptations exist for shopping online, for the ease, of course, but also due to price points in some instances. Ease may be a factor in larger communities, but it doesn’t fly in the Powell River area, where even on the busiest of days ample parking is available, and it’s free, too. When it only takes a few minutes to get anywhere, saving time should not be a factor when it comes to a buying decision.
In fact, the pros can outweigh the cons when shopping close to home, even if something costs a bit more here. How easy is it to have an item that was purchased online or out of town repaired, or to swap sizes? That requires shipping, or another visit to the point of purchase, both of which add cost and defeat the purpose of saving a buck or two. Even if there is no cost for shipping, time is required to repackage, send back and wait for a replacement.
Before looking outside of the community to make purchases for family or friends, consider the unique items available at shops and stores within the Powell River and qathet Regional District region. There are gems around Powell River that cannot be found elsewhere, and might mean more to the recipient than a token, mass-produced product found on a website or in a big box store.
If you’re required to make a list for others, think about what is available here. Is there an event you wish to attend, or an enticing product or service at a local store, studio or community facility? Ask for something you will consume, use often or recycle when done with rather than a gift that may collect dust on a shelf or eventually be regulated to a spot in a drawer and do nothing other than take up space.
Asking for a gesture or donation related to climate change can be gratifying, but everyone should be doing something along those lines on their own anyway, as a gift for the planet, and themselves. The majority of the time, that costs nothing more than a little effort and time.
The best gifts are often everyday items that will be used many times before being discarded, forgotten or thrown away (or recycled!).
Whatever you do, don’t buy anyone a Peloton, and keep that money flowing through our community.