Notes from my Minivan: Create a Local Ripple

I spend a lot of time in my minivan driving four kids here and there, there and here. It’s one of the few places where I can actually think, sometimes. These are my thoughts, scribbled on napkins and receipts. A monthly look into raising kids and living in Lake County.

Note: all opinions belong to me and only me and are not a reflection of those of our advertisers, partners or other writers.

Create a Ripple: Why you Should Shop Local

Shopping local is not just about the money and keeping the money close to home. Don’t get me wrong, that is so important. When you spend you money locally it creates a chain of reactions that cause more money to be spent in your local community.

where local purchases money goes
image source: Small Business Saturday Statistics

For me, it’s not even about that.

When you shop local shopping becomes an experience. It’s not just a mindless click while you are doing something else (don’t get me wrong I do that too!). When you head out to a local store you create an experience. You meet people, you have conversations, you build a community.

Some of my favorite holiday memories are those special outings that revolved around getting gifts. I remember every Christmas going to the local mall with my dad to get a fancy perfume for my mom, oohing and ahhing over the decorations, and bringing our Santa letter to the special talking Christmas tree.

My husband and I have a quite different approach then the mainstream with Christmas. We have almost always done 90% of our shopping in one day, the week, sometimes days, before Christmas. It started by necessity; we had to wait for my holiday bonus check, and then it became a tradition. We would take our bonus money and spend an afternoon and evening wandering the Christkindlmarket and the shops on State Street.

Create a Ripple: Why you Should Shop Local
Christmas presents wrapped and ready as we leave the store!

Now that we’ve moved to the suburbs and have kids, we kind of still do that. We get a babysitter for an afternoon to do our shopping. We start at Learning Express Toys in Lake Zurich and get all the kids’ gifts, and while they wrap them for us, we go out to eat. A chore has become a date, and the bonus is that we are not up all night wrapping presents before Christmas!

Shopping local is about being intentional. It’s planning out ahead of time what we are doing for who and not just grabbing a gift while we are buying groceries. It’s about taking the time to become part of the community around you.

It’s also not all or nothing.

We’re not asking or saying that you should do 100% of your shopping from local businesses, although I am sure they would love it! We’re saying try a little here and there. I love the idea of the 3/50 project, it makes shopping local seem doable, not burdensome.

3/50 Projec

The idea is you pick 3 shops that are independently owned and you spend $50 at them. The ripple effect from that purchase would amount to $42.6 billion* dollars. Imagine what that could do for your community?

It takes more than a click to create vibrant communities, so seek out a business (or three!) this month and spend your money there and see what a different experience it is. Don’t know where to start? Well I have 12 suggestions for you that are perfect for some holiday shopping.12 shops of christmas

  1.  Tiemart, Inc. {Mundelein}*
  2. Tattered Tiques {Lake Barrington}
  3. Knight Music Academy {Lake Zurich}
  4. The Eye Spot {Libertyville}
  5. Goldfish Swim School {Mundelein}
  6. Millennium Farm {Mundelein}
  7. Genessee Theatre {Waukegan}*
  8. Merle Norman Cosmetics {Antioch & Buffalo Grove}
  9. Long Grove Confectionery {Long Grove & Buffalo Grove}*
  10. The Nail Shop & Spa {Highland Park}
  11. Taste of Paris {Mundelein}
  12. AJustLove {Hainesville}*

*shops have online options so you can have the convenience of shopping online while still supporting local business – win! win!





About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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