With the holiday season well underway and Black Friday just passed, many holiday shoppers are out in full force. Big retailers will inundate you with their latest advertisements trying to convince you to stop in their large chain of stores for unsurpassed deals. However, there is a whole trove of other shopping options that may not be gracing your television screen.

Go Unique

Shopping local for the holidays can offer completely unique gifts that your friends and family are sure to love. Shopping local can also mean shopping easy. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a store and have a friendly person there to help you pick out the perfect gift for everyone on your list? That is exactly what you can expect in many local boutique stores. Local specialty clothing, accessory, or odd shops will be busy during the holidays, but typically they are not over crowded like many large chain stores.

Shop Variety

Giving gifts that were purchased locally can range from traditional gifts such as jewelry, clothing, watches, and accessories – to gift cards to local events or shops. A gift card to the local department store may be impersonal to some, but a gift card to your local handcrafted bead store, cheese shop, or pottery maker can seem like a very personal gift choice.

Browse Online

If you are not fond of waiting in long lines or hitting the streets in the holiday traffic, consider making purchases online. You don’t have to shop at large chain stores or online retailers either. There are plenty of locally owned stores that have moved their inventory online. There are also great sites to support work-at-home moms and dads such as Etsy for handcrafted and customized gifts.

Get Crafty

What about if you have a tech savvy friend or family member to purchase for? Purchasing hand sewn cases or pouches for laptops, cell phones, ipads, or any tech item can be the perfect solution to keeping your tech savvy friend happy and sourcing your gift locally.

Buy Fresh

Boutiques and small locally owned gift shops may be on your list, but don’t forget about your local famers or produce stores either. You can find some fantastic gifts straight from your local farm. Making a gift basket of fresh produce, jellies, jams, nuts, dips, and salsas can be a food lover’s dream gift. Hand crafted fudge or chocolates are another great gift that can be purchased from a local chocolatier.

Be Yourself

If you are on a strict budget never underestimate the gift of your time. That is the ultimate of a locally sourced gift. It is sourced right from your home. Offer to help around the house, babysit the kids, or cook a nice meal. The gift of time can be more precious than any wrapped or packaged gift out there.

Regardless of the type of gift you are after, finding a locally sourced product can be much simpler (and cheaper) than you imagined. Have you purchased gifts from your local shops in the past or given the gift of time?

Image Source: Base Camp Baker on Flickr