Keeping It Local Holiday Shopping Guide: Part 2

Connecting with Your Community over the Holidays

Story by Melody Warnick, author of This is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are

Researching and writing my book This Is Where You Belong, I learned all about why loving where you live really matters. (Better health, happiness, and longevity, for starters.) For military families this can be a tall order. You move so much that you’re often starting from scratch. But here’s one simple strategy you can use this holiday season to feel more connected to your community: shop locally. Buying some of your gifts from independent businesses, hiring locals to make your life easier, and giving experiential gifts that get your family into the community are all twofers: they’re fabulous, fun presents AND they build a love for your new hometown.

Now, I’m not saying you can never shop on Amazon again. But consider buying just one or two local gifts this season for someone you love. Your dollars will have a lasting financial impact on your town—and on your feelings about your town. Here are some gift-giving ideas to get you started:

Make Someone’s Life Easier
Buy someone a few hours of a service offered by a local practitioner.

  1. Maid service
  2. Carpet Cleaning
  3. Deck staining
  4. Power washing
  5. Professional organizing
  6. Certificate to a nail salon or hair salon
  7. Massage
  8. Landscaping
  9. Time with a lawyer to make a will
  10. Car wash
  11. Graphic design (for a business card or website
  12. Photography (for a family portrait for the next holiday card)

Melody Warnick is a chronic mover and the author of This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are (Viking, 2016), about how she fell in love with her adopted hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia. You can learn more about place attachment and subscribe to Melody’s once-every-three-weeks newsletter at her website,