Hello, my name is Keely, and I’m a recovering Amazon shopper. Can you relate? It’s so convenient and if you’re anything like me, you’ve got great intentions to plan ahead, make your budget and knock out your Christmas shopping with great thoughtfulness and care. But then life happens and you end up grabbing cheap gifts with free shipping the week of Christmas.
I’ve lived in Oklahoma City for about a year and a half now and have really spent the last few months visiting local businesses, restaurants and shops and getting to know the people who own them or work there. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like walking into a neighborhood shop and feeling welcomed, recognized and helped above and beyond anything you’d get from dialing a customer service number.
So, just before the frenzy of holiday shopping ramps up, I’m here to help guide you through a few ideas to make shopping local fun, budget-friendly and easy. Hopefully there’s something for everyone or I’ll spark an idea or two!
At the top of my list of go-to gifts is the 2018 Keep it Local Card. For only $15, you can gift someone (and/or yourself) amazing discounts all year long. The card is accepted at more than 300 local businesses and restaurants and the list is growing all the time. You can snag a card at any business that accepts them (there’s usually a sign on the door and/or a stack of cards right by the register) or you can grab one at their website, available starting the day after Thanksgiving.
The bright yellow doors of Plenty Mercantile stand out in Automobile Alley (and now in Edmond!) and the huge array of goods they offer makes them theperfect one-stop shop to find something for the babies, kids, pet-lovers, gourmands and even in-laws. The shopkeepers at Plenty are knowledgeable about what they sell and are more than happy to walk you around and point out their favorite products. I love shopping for all the kids in my life at Plenty. They have an amazing collection of my favorite Baby Lit books as well as cool toys that kids won’t lose interest in after just one play. Bonus, most of their toys are incredibly beautiful and won’t clutter up your home with more plastic! I also love their candles, their unique kitchen tools and the banners, pennants, and wooden signs with inspirational sayings. Grab one of their Oklahoma-shaped baskets and fill it with goodies for a great hostess gift.
Whether you’re hosting company this holiday season and want to delegate the dreaded task of getting your house deep-cleaned or want to gift someone else with a sparkling clean home, local cleaning company Two Roosters wants to help. This is a non-profit, mission-minded company that provides women with a salaried income and job training to help end the generational cycle of poverty. They have gift cards and customers can request cleanings with totally green products!
Oklahoma City’s own Jenny Williams is an artist who shares her creations with book lovers everywhere through her Etsy shop, Carrot Top Paper Shop. Grab a gorgeous book from my favorite OKC spot, Commonplace Books, then pair it with a bookmark or bookplate from Jenny’s shop. Her new collection is entitled “The Bookish Collection” and includes prints you can customize to look like your favorite gal pal, niece, or book club friend. Her bestsellers are her “Literary Heroine” banners, bookmarks and her brand new “Sorry I’m Booked” tote bags.
Jenny tells me she has some great Black Friday deals lined up, and she’s also generously offering MetroFamily Magazine readers a special discount! Enter code: Metrofamily25 at checkout for 25% off your total order, from now until the end of the year!
If you’ve got kids’ class parties, gatherings you’re hosting, or want to give the gift of delicious and beautiful cookies, check out EstherEmms’ Cookies. Sarah offers her creatively designed cookies for $20-$30/dozen, but she will give you a dozen un-iced cookies for only $5/dozen! That way you can make all those warm and fuzzy memories of decorating cookies with your kids without the added stress of baking them all yourself! Check out pictures of her work and send her a direct message on her Instagram page.
If the thought of making it to multiple shops to find the perfect gift is overwhelming you, check out the Holiday Pop Up Shops in the heart of Midtown (N.E. corner of N.W. 10th & Hudson at 399 N.W. 10th St.). Starting the day after Thanksgiving and running up until Dec. 23, the shops are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Check their website for the full schedule of what shops will be there each week. We try to make it out every week because the variety of shops is so great and the whole area is festive and fun, so it becomes a great Christmas tradition.
I’m excited to see what some of my favorite OKC shops have in store for this year’s pop-ups, including Blue Seven, Commonplace Books, A Date with Iris, Collected Thread, Shop Good, Black Scintilla, and Trade Men’s Wares!
Above all, I hope you’re encouraged to shop small and shop local this Christmas. It really does make a difference!
[Editor's Note: Keely is a regular contributor to our Thrive & Dime blog where she provides tips for eating local with kids.]
Keely Steger works part time for her church, City Pres, and is married to Charles, a physical therapist. They have 2 boys (11 and 8), and 2 girls (6 and almost 1). Together the Stegers love to explore the different districts of OKC and find great places to eat! Keely loves reading fiction, Instagram (@stegerpartyof6), Goodwill shopping, writing, coffee and eating.