The Season of Giving (Things to Myself)

Current gift strategy: one for you, two for me.

When it comes to spending money on myself, I tend to replenish my basic needs – mainly socks and contact lens saline because I lead a very exciting life.

But I can never find a good enough reason to go beyond that. Do I need this cute phone case? No, mine is boring but functional, not to mention forgiving when dropped. Will this new bedroom lamp bring me joy? Nah, not enough.

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And then.

When the holidays roll around, after eleven months of careful restraint, I blow a circuit. For a few glorious weeks, I buy anything that warms my cold, sensible heart.  

I’m proud that this year, most of that money went to local businesses and artists. I yanked treasures from downtown White River shops like a seasoned professional. We 19 Days-ed the bejesus out of the Upper Valley Haven's 19 Days event, and that’s not even counting my weekly burrito fix from Boloco. Here's a sampling, and if it seems like most of these gifts are on my counter, in my hand, or otherwise on my person, it's because I bought them all for myself: 

Clockwise from left: consigned Franco Sarto boots (Revolution); coconut cashew granola (Hartland Granola, best granola you’ll ever put in your face, available at Dan and Whit's); artisan serving platter and ornament (Angry Goat Pottery, with fig and walnut biscotti from Bella Biscotti to demonstrate); knit hat (Ellen's Half-Pint Farm).  

bought a good chunk of this at the annual Marion Cross artisan's fair, which also benefitted the the Haven. My favorite find came from Oodles, because I am a lover of old things. It’s this sleigh bell, tagged with the handwritten label, “Old, Wonderful Bell." Exactly what it is: 

I didn't keep everything for myself; somewhere in my stash are gifts for other people, just as lovely and special because I literally can't find them anywhere but here. That's what I love about shopping local. It also makes for a much more fun shopping experience compared to toiletries and socks. 

Happy holidays, everyone! 

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