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$Monday: The Best Pandemic Gifts Are Local or Literary

Or both! 2020 is the year to cross most people off of your gift shopping list (unless you're wealthy, in which case, ho ho ho!) and give fewer, specialer things. It's the thought that counts, not the price tag, so homemade items express warmth and personal care whether you make them yourself or buy them from a local vendor offering contactless pickup or delivery. Unique, local goods purchased from good old-fashioned mom-and-pop stores are lovely, and it has never been more important to shop local if you don't want all your cute downtown storefronts swapped out for another Walmart or Amazon warehouse. In a pandemic, it has also become more attractive than ever before to dive into the Jólabókaflóð spirit! Giving and receiving books is my own favorite kind of gifting, whether the books are pre-owned, picked up at a charming local book shop, or ordered on bookshop.org.

Can't afford to support your favorite small businesses by shopping as much as you'd like? That's understandable! You can support them in other ways like sharing social media posts and hinting to other people that you've always wanted a locally handcrafted salad bowl.

What are you giving, receiving, or selling this year that makes an extra special 2020 holiday gift? Feel free to plug a small business or book in the comments.

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