The holidays creep upon you in no time. Every year, you leave it until the last minute, the list in your mind grows out of control, you find yourself in the giant box stores 15 minutes before closing after a long day at work. Familiar? Here's 6 advantages of supporting small businesses this Christmas season...

1) Let's start with the obvious. Ditch that commercialism BS. Choosing small brands means unique, one-of-a-kind gifts that you'll find nowhere else. You're giving with intent, and the maker is proud to offer you a handmade goodie, straight from their loving heart to the hands of the recipient. Good choice!

2) Community! Who doesn't love meeting locals and making incredible, genuine connections? You're sure to receive top notch service and pieces, and a memorable, personable experience when supporting the lil' guys. Whether that be at your local gift shop (I see you stockists!) or straight from the artist. As a business owner, I've made some incredible connections with peeps from my community! #joblove

3) Ok we all know that holiday hustle. What about no hassle? Most lovin' companies offer adorable, aesthetic - brown paper packages tied up with string - gift wrapping. At least I do... (shameless plug, you can call me Julie Andrews). A little brown paper, a little twine, a sprig of eucalyptus... UGH, dreamy.

4) Keep your moula in the local economy. I'm sure you'd rather see your money going into slipper-making-Barb from nextdoor's pocket than Jeff Bezos', amiright? You're creating jobs within your community and keeping tax dollars local. Nuff said.

5) Shopping small saves the environment (well, sorta. That was kinda dramatic). Chain stores receive shipments every single day from plane, train, truck and other fuel consuming air pollutants. Small businesses are conscious of their carbon footprint - ok, speaking for myself again here - and opt for local, upcycled, eco-friendly materials. There's also no large shipping facility with crazy machinery. Your packages are hand-packed with compostable bubble wrap, preloved tissue paper and recyclable boxes and walked to the post office (right, makers? I hope so).

6) When an artist makes some kick-ass sales, they do this little happy dance. A genuine human - not an online processing bot - makes and packs up your order with joy & care, and is so grateful that you chose them. This is their passion. You're helping said artist turn their dreams into a reality/nurture their already awesome business! In turn, you feel great for making someone's day.

Now this isn't just some sales pitch. This is something I'm very passionate about year and year again. I've also noticed everybody is getting more in the spirit of giving vs receiving, and furthermore, giving gifts with meaning that aren't wasteful and going straight in the closet to collect dust. Please choose to support ALL small businesses aside of myself, we have some insanely talented local creators - grab a hot cocoa & hit up the local markets!