The Season Of Giving: Don’t Wait Until The Last Second For Holiday Shopping

One of my favorite times of the year is Christmas. I’ve always loved the beautiful decorations and lights, the holiday spirit and opening presents, but to me the best part of the season is giving gifts myself. However, as a college student, finding a present to give to a family member or friend can quickly become a stressful task on both the mind and the wallet. 

Family members will cherish creative, outside the box gifts. This Christmas season you should challenge yourself and gift things that are inexpensive and benefit local, small businesses. 

Here I’ve compiled a list of places where you can find gifts that are generally affordable, often support local businesses and artists and sometimes help support a cause. I hope you can find some relief from the stress and bustle of the season and enjoy giving a gift this Christmas.


When you’re shopping for Christmas presents, I think one of the best things to do is support local businesses. Lynchburg is full of small businesses offering all kinds of merchandise. Beeswax Candle Company is a great place to find sweet-smelling wax treasures to give to family and friends. Their website says the company is located in downtown Lynchburg, crafting quality candles from pure beeswax. There are many other small businesses you should utilize this Christmas. 


I think 2021 was a year full of great music with releases from new and old artists alike. Many musicians have a merch shop — it’s not too late to ask for your friend’s Spotify Wrapped again to find their favorite artists. Any Swiftie would be happy with an item from Taylor Swift’s online merch store. Another unique musician-related gift is beauty products from Harry Styles’ new brand, Pleasing. Gifting someone merch from their favorite musician not only supports the artist but also shows them you are intentional and know them on a deeper level. 


I believe a community that’s often overlooked by big companies in the Christmas gift hustle and bustle are artists. The holidays can make up a huge part of an artist’s yearly income, so be sure to support creatives this year. One of the best platforms to purchase directly from artists is Etsy. The website is full of creatives from around the world. Don’t be afraid to purchase a handmade item that also supports an artist even if the price tag is a little higher than a factory-made equivalent. We should value people over profits. 


Don’t forget about your children, I mean pets, this Christmas. No number of toys and treats are ever enough for some of our furry friends. When shopping for edible goodies for your pets, do your research on what’s good and bad for them to eat. If you’re looking for other items like dog coats or cat claw scratchers, Etsy is another great resource for handmade items which directly supports artisans. 


After over a year of pandemic blackouts in theaters, one of my favorite activities this year has been going to see some of the new releases at the cinema. This Winter is full of plenty of great movies. A gift card to Regal Cinema in River Ridge Mall or Venue Cinemas near Downtown Lynchburg makes a great gift which can be used anytime. Spider-Man: No Way Home, Encanto, House of Gucci and Ghostbusters: Afterlife are films worth looking into – either playing now or showing soon. This is a great activity for you to join your gift recipient and cultivate quality time at the cinema together. 


I don’t think the spirit of giving at Christmas should be constrained to those we know and interact with. Generally, these people already know you care about them with or without a gift. Another way to spread Christmas cheer is to make an impact on someone you have never met via a nonprofit or humanitarian organization. Lynchburg is a hub for many religious organizations where you can donate money to support a cause. The Monacan Food Bank helps provide for members of the local Monacan Indian Nation. The Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity offers many donation opportunities to advance its mission of helping those with housing instability. The Lynchburg Humane Society always needs supplies for its facility like food and toys for animals.  

When gifting this Christmas, put extra care, time and heart into it. Whether you use these tips or not, remember that gifting is something that should not be taken lightly. Show your loved ones you prioritized them this season with gifts that are creative and not saved until the last minute. 

Locklear is an opinion writer. Follow him on Twitter

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