Shop Safely this Holiday Season

By McKenzie Schwark
Feature Writer

As we move toward the holiday season, COVID cases are up all across the United States with no decline in sight. The holiday season will certainly tempt us all to let our guards down, but keeping our loved ones and communities safe means continuing to stay vigilant. But that doesn’t mean this holiday season can’t be special! Here are our best tips and tricks for shopping this holiday season:

Support local 

Local businesses have taken a beating over the last several months. There are a lot of ways you can support your favorite local bookstore, or that great wine shop in your neighborhood, but the absolute best way you can support local businesses is by buying from them. This year it is especially easy to forgo the extra effort and just order from Amazon, but this year it is also especially important to combat that urge. Patroning local businesses helps them to stay in business which helps sustain our communities and local economies. You can only fill your home with so many plants from your local flower shop, or candles from that little natural product store. But gift giving is a great excuse to visit your favorites again and share some of the reasons you love your community with the people you love. 

Wear your mask

At this point we are all sick of being reminded to wear our masks, but it is the most important barrier to spreading and contracting COVID. If you’re going out in public to shop for gifts, or grabbing some sustenance for a day of shopping, it’s important that you still wear your mask whenever you can. It helps keep you and the store attendants safe, and also helps to keep everyone’s loved ones safe throughout the season!

Know your options

Many stores and restaurants now offer online ordering, curbside pickup, and even delivery. A lot of places have expanded their shopping options over the last few months, so make sure to check with your favorite spots to see what your options are! 

Show some extra kindness

Although a time for celebration, the holidays can be really stressful. The pandemic has exacerbated many of our frustrations, and for many of us this holiday season isn’t going to look exactly how we might want. The last several months have been especially hard on service and hospitality workers who have maybe lost their jobs, seen a significant decrease in tips, or have had to return to working in-person before they’ve felt comfortable. Every year around this time there is a lot of talk about extending some extra kindness to your neighbors, and that couldn’t be more important this year. A little extra patience and understanding will certainly go a long way this holiday season!