Take the pledge: shop Rutland, Vermont

Take the pledge: shop Rutland, Vermont

The holiday season is upon us.  With Thanksgiving still several weeks away, we will now be constantly bombarded with advertising aimed at separating us from our money.  My advice is to ignore all the flash and promises of Walmart, Amazon.com and the big box stores.  Instead, set your sights on unique gifts from local shops and artisans.

Since I’ve been on a journey to own and collect less stuff, I like to give gifts that disappear – like food.  There are so many local food products that you can give as gifts.  For instance maple syrup, honey, dried beans, popcorn, apple sauce, rice, wine, cheese, handmade soap (not edible but it gets used up), jams, sauces and the list goes on.  These are delicious GOURMET food products that anyone would love to receive.  (We probably take this for granted since we get to eat them all the time.)  Make up a basket or give a few in a gift bag.

Sometimes, I will give a small non-consumable gift that is made by a local artisan.  This could be knitted wrist-warmers, jewelry, a hand-carved wooden ladle, pottery, or hand-blown glass (all of which are available at the Rutland winters farmers’ market, along with all of the food items listed above).

Next, I move on to locally-owned retailers in Rutland.  Try Tattersall’s, Fruition Fineries, Raw Honey Apparel, Book King, Simon the Tanner (now closed), Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center (tons of cool gifty stuff), Michael’s Toys, Timco Jewelers… the possibilities are endless!  Don’t just look at their websites either.  Go downtown and stroll around.  These stores have unique inventory that regularly changes, so you need to get in there and see what cool things they currently have.

Then, if Rutland retailers didn’t do it for you, expand your quest to Vermont-owned retailers anywhere in the state.  If you want to give special gifts that have meaning and community value, you will find what you’re looking for in Vermont.  Your search should end there.

If you follow this gift-buying guide, you will not only have gotten wonderful gifts for everyone on your list, but you will have given all Rutlanders and Vermonters an amazing holiday gift as well.

To give them a bigger gift, I also donate to several local charities as part of my holiday spending.  This year, I will give to Vermont Foodbank and the Vermont Farmers Food Center.

This year, pledge to support your friends and neighbors who are entrepreneurs.  Shop Rutland. Let’s keep our money circulating in Vermont.

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