This is where you find unique items which are often made with a much higher quality than chain and big box store fodder.  This is also where your purchases will have a direct positive effect on the local economy. Trade Black Friday for Shop Small Saturday this year.


Not only are locally made items unique they sometimes can also be customized.


Reusable mugs, straws, and bags make wonderful gifts and can kick start some fantastic habits.


Put your talents to work or try something new! A Labor of Love in the form of a scarf, a candle, even a hot pad is always appreciated. Keep it useful though, not all crafts have practical uses.


Coffee, tea, cocoa, cookies, nuts, cheese and sausage are just a few of the many wonderful edible gift ideas nearly everyone would love to get. Cookies are also a great gift for co-workers and neighbors. Dress up some simple paper bags and get to baking!


In the era of the smart phone, millions of pictures are taken and almost none are printed. A photo mug, print, or even a 2022 calendar will make a meaningful, memorable gift that will be treasured for years.


Books are still beloved by many.  You could  purchase a local class (make sure the recipients schedule will work with for it) or start a savings account for a grandchild, niece or nephew. Memberships to organizations that your loved ones have interest in are also great gifts.


An upcycled or reuse project can create a super unique gift. Check out for some great project ideas that you can make with your own finds from our local Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity Restore.

This year’s shortages are a reminder to all of us that the era of getting what we want, when we want it and cheap isn’t a historical norm. Shortages could also be here to stay. A global system of goods has always been a fragile endeavor.  With so many people staying home in 2020, their spending shifted from services like eating out to shopping for stuff online. This overload of stuff on top of labor shortages and a hundred other small but significant details has led to stuff being stuck on the coasts and the stuff that isn’t, costs much more than it used to.

This year’s must have tech item will be old and barely operable in three years.

The latest greatest kitchen gadget will end up in a yard sale in two years.

The current fashion fad will be in the thrift shop in one year.

The hottest toy will be forgotten about in a couple months.

The memories you will make with the people you love, will last forever. And those moments never come off a shipping container.

Audrey L Elder

Meaningful Living