31 days without Walmart – Giving good gifts

Yesterday was my husband’s annual family Christmas party, and I took part in the Secret Santa gift exchange.

This is my husband's Aunt Kathy. I picked her name in the Secret Santa gift exchange.

Because of my “31 days without Walmart” project, I needed to get a gift somewhere other than the StuffMart. As I wrote last week, it would have been easier and more convenient (and certainly less tempting) to just do everything at Walmart, but in the end, also less special.

I picked my husband’s Aunt Kathy and went to Mostly Clay on Schoen Place in Pittsford for a gift. I love this store, owned by Margie LaTourette. Years ago, I used to own a tea shop in the space below hers and we’ve remained friends ever since.

For Aunt Kathy, I picked out a piece of pottery from Sommerville Pottery. It’s officially called a ‘brie baker’, but it’s a round, rimmed plate that can be used to serving hors d’oeuvres or as a small tart or pie pan. Very functional, very pretty, and locally made.

When Aunt Kathy opened her gift and saw “Mostly Clay” stamped on the box, she asked if there was something actually in there from Mostly Clay or if I just resused a box. When I told her that indeed there was a gift from the store in there, she got excited.

Apparently, she loves that store! And she explained later that she used to have a dish much like the one I gave her. But it broke and she’s missed it every since.

I got Aunt Kathy a 'brie baker', essentially a pottery dish that can be used for lots of things, made by Sommerville Pottery on Keuka Lake, NY.

She seemed genuinely pleased with the gift, which made me happy.

Sure, I could have gone to Walmart and gotten a scarf or gloves or something else in the price range. And I’m sure she would have loved it. But instead, I got something with a personal touch, got to see my friend and support her business, and really think about the gift I gave.

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