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It’s That Time of Year Again! How Are You Holding Up?

If you haven’t looked at the calendar in the last few days, I don’t blame you.  I’ve been avoiding it too.  ONLY 6 MORE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!

For many, the thought of Christmas being just 6 days away may induce a feeling of panic or worse, the Grinch within.  While this type of behavior can bring the worst out in people, it is a great opportunity to put your energy into being “smarter” during the Holidays.  Whether it’s sending Christmas cards, finding the perfect holiday gifts or spending time with the ones that you love – it’s hard to get everything accomplished in so little time!

Today, I am giving you a few gift giving ideas to shave hours off your list so you can spend more time on the things that you actually enjoy doing.  It’s no lie – many people are shopping online this year and I too enjoy browsing and finding things online.  In fact, here’s a creative gift giving list that I really enjoyed: http://www.boston.com/business/specials/holiday/2011/galleries/gifts_under_50/

While online shopping has its perks – in many ways it’s overrated and actually takes more of the time that I don’t have.  As I begin to start Christmas shopping this year (yes, I am a last minute shopper), I strive to keep as much of my business local and with businesses that make my life EASIER.  (Hint, hint local shop owners).

Here’s WHY: I’m terrible at wrapping.  You’d think that after numerous attempts at improving my ability to take a piece of paper and put it around a box, it would eventually look good.  Well, it doesn’t, hence why gift wrapping services are very important to me as a shopper.  That begs the question: What are we doing as business owners to make doing business with us as easy as possible?

Services like:

  • Extended Hours
  • Gift Wrapping Services
  • Shipping Services
  • Personal Shopping
  • Customizations of Products & Services

Or even better, collaborating with other local businesses to produce your own -Top 50 Gifts Under $50.00 List! Some businesses and gift ideas that have caught my eye this year (and these are just a few of the many worth mentioning include)…

  1. Indian Lake Outfitters – Not only do they have everything that any outdoorsman or outdoorswoman would need, they carry a full line of creative, fun, and interesting things and lots of great stocking stuffers too!  Also, they recently hosted Santa Clause and had a professional photographer on-site to capture the entire experience.  Check out their Facebook page to see what I am talking about: http://www.facebook.com/indianlakeoutfitters
  2. The Winery of Versailles – Napa may be too far, but amazing wine is not!  If you are looking for that perfect Holiday Package or experience, take an evening and visit Darke County or call the Winery of Versailles to learn more about the fabulous gifts made right here in Ohio: http://www.wineryatversailles.com
  3. Pakmail of Bellefontaine – Whatever you need wrapped, shipped, boxed or protected, Garret James and the entire team at Pakmail will take care of you…they have saved my life on numerous occasions!  It’s amazing what a packing/shipping store like this can do to make your Holiday Season better.  Plus, Garret even sometimes wears a Santa hat!
  4. Gift Cards to Local Restaurants – Buying gift cards from a favorite local eatery is a great way to support your local restaurants and are perfect for stuffing in holiday cards!  Whether it be enjoying some Christmas Cheer at a great place like Chattan Loch or eating amazing food and enjoying the atmosphere at Six Hundred Downtown, gift cards are sure to be a hit!  Local businesses are great assets to our community and gift cards are a great way to support them.
  5. Donation to a Local Church, Organization or Charity – This is the perfect gift that keeps on giving.  One of the best gifts I received this year was a letter from another local business who made a donation to a charity in my name.  I thought that was an awesome idea and it’s a way to help local organizations who are in need!  If you’d like to see a sample letter of how to do this, feel free to reply to this message and I’ll send you a template.

Now that you have some new ideas, go out and start “investing” and feel free to e-mail me with any other cool ideas or strategies that you see happening in your business or community!

Warmest Holiday Greetings,

Jason Duff
Founder & CEO

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