Halloween is over and Christmas decorations are in full display at the mall, letting us know it’s time to start shopping, baking, and decorating our homes. Every year around this time, I start reminding my children that Christmas is not really about the gifts, and not to get their hopes up for getting every single thing on their list. I always say, “this year is going to be small, we need to save money.” But each year the children come downstairs on Christmas morning to see an enormous pile of presents and their stockings filled to the brim.

2015 will be different. My favorite blogger, Glennon Doyle Melton of @Momastery recently shared what she and her husband ask their children to do when making their Christmas lists. They tell them to make a list of Something you want, Something you need, Something to wear, and Something to read. I love that. We are doing that this year, and we also told our three to have their lists ready by Thanksgiving so that we can have our shopping finished by the first week in December. Then we can just sit back and enjoy the season. I think this year we are setting ourselves up for success.

As you prepare to do your shopping, please remember to support the small, family businesses in your area. Buy your books from a local shop, buy hostess gifts from a craft show or local winery… you get my drift. In Raleigh, I have a few favorite local spots and small businesses I would like for you to remember as you get ready to do some shopping.

Squirrel Cut Designs, is a new line of locally-themed products by Kim Ridge, a good friend of mine, this year. She is selling her pillows, hand towels, t-shirts, etc at small pop-up markets and at local spots like NOFO and Zest this year. If you click the link, you will see her Etsy.com shop. These are beautifully and thoughtfully made and will be a great addition to your holiday decorations, or a gift for the woman on your list who has everything!12186770_10206786973506359_5605350024046891840_o

Moon and Lola is a local shop that now has four store fronts! Kelly Shatat used to make jewelry and sell to friends (including me!) and local boutiques, and has turned her dream into reality with her beautiful shops in Raleigh, Apex, and Charleston, SC! You can find personalized and locally themed jewelry for every Southern Girl on your list. This year, Moon and Lola is on Oprah’s Favorite Things for the second time, with her adorable mirrored pet silhouette ornaments.


Holly Aiken, a local businesswoman, has a downtown storefront called Stitch. Her shop is filled with beautiful, modern, handmade purses, clutches, totes, wallets, wristlets, keychains, etc. They are vinyl, durable, and unique. Inside the shop you will see rolls of brightly colored vinyl and the workshop in the back. You can request your colors and designs if you don’t see the combination you want.


I just realized that all of the business above are owned by local Raleigh WOMEN!! I am so amazed and proud of them (and a little bit jealous!). It would make me so happy for you to support all of them! I’m sure I will have more ideas for holiday shopping as we get further into the season.

Happy shopping!!


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