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#keepitlocaler: Gifts


Kristen Vails Gilpin
If I’m being honest, gift-giving is the least of my love languages.
The same goes for my husband. Together, we don’t make a great gift-giving pair but we try our best! Luckily, I find that shopping for gifts is one of the easiest things to do locally. While it would have been easy to focus this blog around the holidays, I thought it might be more helpful to focus on gift-giving year round. From baby births to loved ones passing, and all the gifts that happen in between.

For the most part, my friends and I have pretty similar interests and styles, so I don’t usually fret too much about where to shop. Books, records, candles, barware and vintage treasures are what I tend to lean toward. Some galfriend shopping staples for me are Plenty Mercantile, Guestroom Records, Commonplace Books, RINK Gallery, DNA Galleries, Shop Good and Chirps & Cheers. Booze and restaurant gift cards are also my go-to. I usually grab a Good Egg Dining card so the recipient has lots of choices and Broadway Wine Merchants is always a great place to find something special.

For the kiddos: Green Bambino, Porch Art Supply, Commonplace Books.
For the parents: Curbside Flowers, TLC Garden Center, Native Summit, Coki Bay, The Plant Shoppe
For the siblings: local restaurant gift cards, Easy Freezy Meals gift card

Love & Babies
I’m pretty practical when it comes to gifts, so I don’t want to ignore the realistic necessities that babies and new homes bring. With people out of town, it’s so easy to just ship the gifts right off the registry. So, when I’m shopping for someone locally I try and find something small and special at a local store to add along with the crib sheets or hand towels on a registry. My favorite places to shop for something special: Plenty Mercantile, Green Bambino, Urbane. I also discovered The Lingerie Store for bachelorettes for the brides-to-be.

Loss & Caregiving
For the loss of a loved one: A Date with Iris, donation to local charity
For the loss of a pet: Donation to OK Humane
For meals: Provision Kitchen, and any local restaurants

For the last few years, we’ve decided on a theme as a way to help us narrow gift shopping down. Picking a broad theme such as books allows us to go fewer places but still find something that interest the individuals. Last year we bought most of our gifts at Commonplace Books, the year before we made our own art, and the year before we bought booze from local liquor stores. 

Gift Notes

What does shopping more local mean for a millenial(ish) couple who are striving to have a more minimal lifestyle when it comes to material things?
For this reason, we really like to make gifts super practical or super sentimental. If we can’t find a gift that meets either of those categories, we tend to give experiences and gift cards...which can all be found locally!

What is the feasibility of a commitment to shop local for those that do not have much flexibility or resources? For the single mom, the family living paycheck to paycheck, the person without access to reliable transportation?
No matter your budget, there is a local store that offers something affordable. Mix and match smaller gifts, homemade gifts and gifts from big box stores. It’s not the size or price tag of the gift that matters!

Tweet your recommendations, tips, tricks or questions for Kristen to @kristenvails with hashtag #keepitlocalok or #keepitlocaler

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