Grace Cook ‘21, Sports Section Editor
This season, it may seem oh-so-easy to buy all your holiday gifts from Amazon—step one: scroll through Bezos’ tacky gift guide. Step two: Add the cheapest gift to the cart. Step three: Click “ship” and hope Amazon does not experience shipping delays.
Yes, it’s fast; yes, it’s cheap; and yes, online shopping is very easy to do. But instead of going the easiest, glued-to-your-couch, giving-money-to-big-business-billionaires route, let’s embrace the holiday spirit and take the more thoughtful shopping path: shopping small and shopping local. Taking a trip to our local stores does not only improve the quality and meaningfulness of our gifts; it also supports and uplifts our community.
Shopping in town this Christmas season stimulates the local economy. Money spent within one’s own city limits tends to stay in that community and circulate, meaning it gets used more often by neighboring businesses and benefits various people in the region. This develops economic independence. Money spent on franchises, however, is quickly snatched out of the economy and into a billionaire’s stagnant overseas savings pile.
Since multinational corporations are known to squander money and exploit their workers, small businesses offer humanitarian alternatives. Local jobs tend to offer high pay, reasonable hours, and respectable positions to their employees. Supporting local businesses helps them expand, and in turn, provide valuable jobs to the community.
Furthermore, community shops typically support fair-trade ideals. They treat both their workers and suppliers with respect and appropriate pay. So although locally-bought items may be slightly more expensive than something bought off a chain, the money is justly used. Not to mention that local shops often offer sensational season sales.
The Lemon Tree makes a point of selling fair-trade items, specifically fair-trade jewelry from artists in the community and across the world. The Lemon Tree, located on Pontiac Trail in downtown South Lyon, advertises a variety of “lovely gifts and treasures for the home.” Their selection includes jewelry, houseplants, outerwear, cosmetic products, candles, books, children’s toys, and more. The icing on the cake: they will deliver free of charge within five miles of downtown South Lyon. https://www.thelemontree.shop/
Next door to The Lemon Tree, Venue sells rock-and-roll clothing alongside Michigan merch, locally crafted jewelry, and small gifts. They provide a wonderful selection of jeans, jackets, sweaters, dresses, Michigan-themed apparel, and seasonal outfits. The Venue sales ladies are very welcoming and go out of their way to help you find a good fit. Alongside their clothing items, Venue sells accessories like earrings, necklaces, and quirky socks, along with fun candles, magnets, and other pop-appreciative gifts. This store puts on tons of holiday sales, and their clearance rack is currently offering a steal of buy two, get one free. Venue is a fun clothing store that is full of character; it is the perfect place to shop for yourself and get unique gifts for others. https://www.venuesouthlyon.com/
Nearby, on the corner of 10 Mile and Pontiac Trail stands the Grande Trunke. This store specializes in gifts and home decor, and are well known around South Lyon for selling Vera Bradley products. At the Grande Trunke you can find gifts for any person, may they be football fans, fashionistas, or baking enthusiasts. In addition to Vera Bradley products, this store is filled with Michigan college merch, jewelry, wall decor, cozy socks, fun mugs, kitchen products, small trinkets, and more. South Lyon senior Tori Williams has bought from them multiple times, and said that it was a very good experience. Needing a gift, but not yet sure what to get someone? Visit the Grande Trunke; they have a gift for every personality. https://grandetrunkehome.com/
On Pontiac Trail neighboring the Lyon Theatre sits the Lyon’s Book Den. This traditional bookstore sells books for every age. It sells all genres and has a wonderful selection of books. The Den also offers bookmarks, small gifts, and old-fashioned candy. This traditional downtown bookstore is sure to please any bookworm during the holidays. https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Bookstore/Lyons-Book-Den-224608396499/
Have a sweet tooth? Spun Sugar Detroit, located on Rushton Road between 9 and 10 Mile, offers a deluct assortment of gourmet candies. Their specialty is cotton candy, which is home-spun in various flavors and colors. South Lyon Junior Allison Blossfeld recently visited this candy shop and found their cotton candy delightful. Spun Sugar Detroit also sells chocolates, lollipops, gummy candy, and seasonal gifts. This local candy shop has a magical feel and will certainly satisfy your holiday candy cravings. https://www.spunsugardetroit.com/
2020 has been particularly hard on our local businesses; many of them have been threatened with closure, but our local entrepreneurs have held strong. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and community, so when we are privileged with the money and ability to support local businesses, it is our ethical responsibility to do so. For the benefit of both ourselves and the community, let’s shop local this holiday season.