As the global elites and their socialist dupes endeavor to envelop us in a world dominated by the unholy alliance of Big Government and Big Business, I am dreaming of a hobbit-sized Christmas, just like the ones we used to know, or, in any event, just like the ones our forefathers knew. Nor is this hobbit-sized dream a mere fantasy, any more than the nightmare in which we currently find ourselves is a mere fantasy. As the global Balrog is a grim reality, portending darkness, so the Shire is a small and beautiful reality shining forth the real presence of local communities and small businesses. This Christmas, if we would like to see our world a better and healthier place, we should nurture and nourish the Shire by buying hobbit-sized gifts produced in the Shire itself, spurning the products produced by the agents of Mordor. We should be sure to shop locally, buying gifts from locally-owned stores and businesses, or, if we’re shopping online, by buying directly from smaller businesses, avoiding the path-of-least-resistance which leads to hell or to Amazon.
Here are a few practical ways in which we can keep Christmas in the Shire this year.
If we are buying books, we should ignore titles on the New York Times Bestseller List and buy books produced by small independent publishers. We should buy from local bookstores or directly from the publisher, especially if the author is living!
I would recommend Monastery Greetings, which sells products made by all sorts of religious communities, collected in one place for convenient gift giving.
We should get into the spirit of the festive season by checking out and attending local small-town events. By way of offering an example, this small town offers carriage rides through their quaintly decorated historic district.
To encourage learning, peace, and wonder, consider giving a bird guide, field glasses, and a bird feeder to a friend or family member. (We use the Stokes guide as well as Peterson.) This gift will be enjoyed for many years to come!
If you have friends who have a skill or product they produce, support them. We have friends who make handmade soaps, saint-peg dolls, art of various kinds, or who work in wood, fabric, or yarn.
If contemplating the purchase of gift cards, get them for small local business, such as coffee shops, cafes, and boutiques, instead of Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. If you buy gift cards for teachers, postal carriers, or work colleagues, give them gift cards for these local businesses, rather than for the big national or global chains.
If shopping online, try to shop at small, online family businesses. Here’s one to which a friend in Michigan introduced us, Fraser Tea, which sells organic, flavored tea in bags.
For Catholic gifts, skip Amazon and support a family business. Here’s one we have used.
Descending to the level of hawking my own wares, you could also support this particular hobbit by buying a friend a gift subscription to the Inner Sanctum of my personal website, an online hobbit-hole celebrating the good, true, and beautiful.
Finally, if you want to read more about why shopping locally and patronizing small businesses is important, you should consider buying Small is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered.
And I’ll sign off with the gift of wisdom, which is also hobbit-sized. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the reason for the season and the gift of God to all of us, we should recall the words of a certain Samwise Gamgee that “above all shadows rides the sun.” And, for that matter, as we think of the grimacing Grinches who prefer the darkness to the light, we should remind ourselves, in the words of Frodo Baggins, that “they cannot conquer forever!”
Have yourselves a hobbit-little Christmas and may God bless us everyone!
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The featured image is courtesy of Pixabay.