Do you plan on spending excessively on loved ones this holiday season? Or are you too cool for school; rejecting this culture of consumerism? If you answered yes to either of those questions: 1) Calm down and 2) Embrace or mitigate those feelings by shopping right here in Corning.
1) It’s Rewarding
I have a relative that buys random holiday gifts all year long (from home appliances to Applebees gift cards), with absolutely no thought other than “this might come in handy in a pinch”. I watch this person give gifts and it feels like it came from a forgotten shelf in a closet (because it did). It conveys zero meaning beyond “I bought this… ug.”
Now, think about the process of giving a local gift… It shows you spent time thinking about that one person, looking for that particular gift. Local gifts connect you, particularly when given to out-of-town family & friends. A simple glass vase, hand blown by a Corning artist, holds its meaning far longer than a generic vase filled with the finest roses from 1800Flowers. Even if it’s not a locally-made item, simply describing the purchase from the cool little store on Market St, conveys more meaning than anything you could buy at Wally-World.
2) It’s Super Fun
Family and culture often equal stress and pressure; ironically, the holiday season is about embracing those very things. As a result, it’s easy to get lured into the convenience of shopping online or at big box stores. However, instead of alleviating the stress, this lack of effort or meaning ends up adding to it.
Step outside of that vicious cycle, and onto Market St. Spend an afternoon browsing East Market St and pop in for lunch someplace (like the new Fiesta Brava). Spend another day on West Market St, with a quick slice from Rico’s Pizza or warm soup from Old World Cafe. You see what I’m getting at here? Just because your mom loved the selection of coffee beans you bought at Market St Coffee and Tea… doesn’t mean you need tell her how you spent the rest of the day comparing massages at Ageless and Steuben Massage Associates.
3) Increase in Community Awesomeness
From your sense of local pride to increasing property values, when our community thrives, everything improves. Profits in the hands of local businesses are fed back into our community. Shopping local is an investment with a positive return; a cycle of regeneration and positive growth. I’m not just talking about local economics, but your overall enjoyment of living in Corning. The stores you love stay put, the people you love don’t move away, and the community you love gets… lovelier.
4) More Social
You’re on a budget and / or a terrible shopper? Use this line on the human behind the counter (it hasn’t failed me yet): “I have X dollars to spend on so-&-so. Can you help me find something great?”
5) Better Value
Sure, you can often save a couple bucks online or at big box stores, but consider the value of giving someone special something meaningful. Value isn’t just cost. Think about the value of spending a day walking down Market St, shopping, eating, discovering, rediscovering. What’s cost-effective today, may hold no value in the long run. Is it cost-effective to give your money to a warehouse website? Or is it more valuable to keep your money in the community you depend on.
Check out this video by the Gaffer District: