Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Planning for Christmas

I heard on the radio a couple days ago that retailers are expecting a dreary Christmas shopping season. Unemployment continues to climb, banks are going under, and people are afraid to spend too much because they don't know what's ahead. Economists are expecting the "big box" stores to benefit the most because they have the power to offer the deepest discounts. This will leave locally-owned businesses out in the cold.

That reminded me of an email forward that I received a few months ago. It talked about who would benefit when you spent your economic stimulus check. It listed a bunch of different places, and ultimately, it was not Americans who would benefit, but big corporations and foreign countries. The email ended by saying that you should spend your stimulus check shopping at garage sales, so you could be sure that your money helped another American.

All of the above thoughts combined in my head, and I got an idea! Ever since we moved out here, we've learned the beauty of bartering ... most of my original Shetland sheep were bartered. I gave people heritage turkeys and angora rabbits in exchange for sheep. A couple years ago, a lady helped me clean the house in exchange for organic chicken and goat milk soap. I met an organic coffee grower from Hawaii, and we exchanged coffee for soap.

As Auntie Mame said, "Life is a banquet, and most poor fools are starving to death!" We all have things that we can do or produce that other people want, so instead of spending our money at the big box stores buying more cheap plastic crap from China, why don't we help out each other? Just because Wall Street is going down the drain does not mean that the rest of us can't have a great Christmas. So, here's my plan for an all-American awesome holiday ...
  1. If you have something to offer, describe it and post your website in the comment section of this post. If you don't have a website, you can post a link to your blog, Facebook or MySpace page or your email address. If you post your email address, please do it cleverly so the spambots don't pick it up and start spamming you. If you do something like deborah (no spam) at yahoo (dot) com, I think we're all web-saavy enough to know that's deborah @ yahoo.com -- and no that's not my email address.
  2. If you are limited geographically, give a brief description of where you can go.
  3. If there is anything in particular you would like to have in exchange, add that also.
  4. If you are not interested in bartering, but you have a homemade or farmstead product to offer for cold, hard cash, feel free to post that also.
  5. If you're going to ship something a long distance in exchange for someone else shipping something, be sure you have each other's contact info so you can get in touch in case something doesn't work out.
  6. Finally, this is a reminder that I don't know all of you and am not responsible for anyone who decides to be a jerk. If you are seriously going through tough times, don't start lying and stealing. Most people like to help others -- it makes us feel good, especially at Christmas.
Here's my listing:
I have goat milk soap, which I'll even gift wrap for you and mail directly to the recipient. You can see the fragrances I have available here. We also having Shetland roving, yarn, scarves, and hats. I also have a couple of Nigerian dwarf goats left, due to buyers who were unable to ultimately buy the goat they'd reserved. In exchange, I wouldn't mind having a female llama (that would probably be enough soap and wool scarves for everyone on your Christmas list!). If you live nearby, we can always use help with fencing, construction, cleaning, gardening, etc. I also accept Paypal. You can contact me through Blogger or my website.


Corinne R. said...

My neighbors and I barter all the time, but what a great idea to "kick it up a notch" and do it online. : ).

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I couldn't figure out what you meant in your comment on my blog about listing my roving on YOUR blog - until I came over here to ask you! Now I get it; great idea!

So here is what I have: Commercially processed roving that did NOT go through a picker from four different ewes, three of whom were coated. Even the uncoated ewe has pretty clean roving! I have Bella or Rechel in light grey; Dinah in brilliant, lustrous white; and Valentine in both a lustrous silvery fawn and a browner shade of fawn. I'm offering it at $2/oz until I pick up the final rovings from the processor and have to pay the "big bill," probably on Oct. 26, and $3/oz after that (buyer pays shipping). I do take PayPal. Hmm, what would I trade? I'd like a set of wool combs, especially the kind where one can be fastened to a table, if anyone has some they aren't using. I would consider trading for shelled nuts (pecans or walnuts), handmade soap, certain dahlia tubers, and maybe other things, so make me an offer! Follow the hotlink on my name to my blog, where there is an "email me" link on the upper right.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Oops, forgot to mention for those who don't know that my sheep, and therefore the roving, is Shetland.

Susan Ryan said...

I'm thinking here. I have lots of books.Kids books and adult books. Some homeschool specialized books that I have never used.
It's funny that I thought I wouldn't have much to barter, but Michelle mentioned dahlia bulbs and it started clicking that I likely have plenty to barter.

I love the idea and just linked to it.

Kathy said...

What a fun idea! I'm afraid the only things I have to barter involve books and craft supplies. We have downsized quite a bit since moving and trying to see what we can live without. We're in a new area where gardening is hard and expensive to get it going - sort of like a desert here. Love your blog!

SkippyMom said...

I love this concept so much. I went ahead and posted it on my blog too [along with a list of what I can barter].

Thanks for sharing and I hope more people get involved.

Hugs and happy holidays!

sasa said...



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