I cannot believe I have to write this column. I cannot believe that anyone who lives in a city as awesome, quirky, and creative as New Orleans would even think of doing their holiday gift buying online or, shudder, at the malls. Sadly, NOLA’s new daily source for news (i.e. Facebook) tells me otherwise. And, since “Love NOLA” is taking next week off to give thanks for the white people taking the Native Americans’ land, I thought it best to use today’s column to offer my top ten reasons to buy local over the holidays.
10. Do you really want to fight the masses circling Lakeside Mall, looking for a parking place only so you can buy a $200 beige pillow from Restoration Hardware and have a bite of food that is neither “red” nor “lobster” at Red Lobster? Or…would you rather zip over to Burgundy in the Bywater, have your choice of spaces, buy a really cool handmade Lee Kyle at Bon Castor and enjoy goat tacos at Maurepas?
9. Nothing says “I love you” like a google search, right? Wrong! You know this year’s “love of your life?” Well, if she, he or she/he really is “the one”, then isn’t it worth the extra effort to spend a few hours on Magazine Street, searching for those perfect one-of-a-kinds? If it’s not, well maybe 2013 will be the year of “the one,” unless the Mayans were right. In which case, it won’t matter (come to think of it, neither will today’s column!).
8. Now, what if you really know she, he, she/he is the one and you want to buy like you’re in the top 2%, when you’re really in the bottom 47? No problem. You live in New Orleans. Mark December 8 on your calendar and go to the St. Claude art walk. There you will find 2% masterpieces at 47% prices.
7. Are you a Scrooge who whines “but it’s so much cheaper to buy from Wal-Mart.” Well, think of this, Ebenezer: If you buy a Kate McNee holiday hat from Dannal Perry’s Plum, you are supporting two really fantastic locals for the price of one (vs. one faceless gazillionaire who’s about to cut his worker’s hours to avoid Obamacare).
6. Are you an iPad potato who mumbles that it’s easier to buy from Amazon? Well, now. Don’t you think it would have been easier on your mother if she had delivered you via UPS instead of her uterus? Yeah, it would have been. But she didn’t. So, show some love. Some local love. To Mom. And to New Orleans.
5. Anyone can one-click gift an e-book to their best friend’s Kindle. But, only a BFF travels to Faulkner House Books in Pirate’s Alley, tells the manager, Jo Ann, a little bit about you, and leaves with the perfect book. A book you’ve probably never heard of, but one that just might become your new best friend some cold winter weekend.
4. Are you a wine-gifter? Well, who do you trust more? The wine buyers from Whole Foods…who live in Texas? Or Beth and her team at Swirl… in Fauborg St. John?
3. Are you a gift card-gifter? First off, shame on you. You’re not creative enough to live in New Orleans, but since you do live here (for now), spice things up a bit by getting actual gift certificates from destinations of local awesomeness.
2. You’ve heard of karma, right? Buy from chains this holiday season and you’ll come back in chains. In Chalmette. And it will be dark. Buy local and you get to spend your next life living in New Orleans all over again. And the Saints will win the Super Bowl every year.
1. If you shop local, you get to spend your entire holiday season in New Orleans. If you shop at big-box stores, you have to go to Metry.
So, how about it? To paraphrase our Live Wire friends at ‘OZ: Now get out there and buy you some awesome, local gifts!