This holiday season, I again challenged myself to buy as many locally made gifts as possible. In addition to Craftin’ Outlaws in October and Viewfinder in November, I attended two Columbus handmade events this week: Etsy Team Columbus Holiday Art & Trunk Show at Wild Goose Creative and ARTillery Holiday Art Market at the Gateway Film Center. My reasons for this are passionate and plentiful. Supporting painters, photographers, jewelry makers, paper artists, sculptors, and fashion designers in our community means that we enable them to keep creating. It provides opportunities for like-minded residents to meet and form friendships. It keeps dollars in our local economy and positively impacts our country. I find balance by purchasing as many homegrown gifts as ones from national retailers, and I’m continually reminded that personal conversations and spirited craftsmanship mean more than shrink wrap and conveyor belts. Plus it feels darn good to buy a product from the hands that made it.