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Let’s Leave the Shopping Bags Behind – Making the Case for Creative Experience this Holiday Season – Opinion

By Betsy Wild, CEO and founder, We Craft Box

Is the day after Thanksgiving still Black Friday if all the lights are off in the store because there are no one-day, door-buster bargains?  A great what-if question that I’d love to see as reality!

American shoppers and retailers often count on the biggest shopping day of the year to put a positive spin on the year. This year, like 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking plenty of economic havoc as the holidays draw near.

Check your favorite news source. Search for ‘international shipping delays.’ You’ll see all sorts of articles about all sorts of reasons for all sorts of delays. According to one article from Business Insider, shipping costs have jumped by a factor of ten. Another source cites changes in the shopping habits of the typical American consumer. While some manufacturers and retailers may look for ways to absorb those costs, the average shopper will likely see additional dollar signs at the checkout line.

COVID-19’s role is just what you’d expect. As infections hit one port, the products being shipped out are either cut back or routed through another port. Then, the replacement ports typically have to delay one shipment or the other. Either way, consumer prices rise.

My strongest memories of the holidays aren’t a shopping list of who got what. My memories are of the time spent together, cooking, catching up, and carousing. Ditch the credit card and tap into your creativity with a couple of ideas for the holidays around Christmas.

Halloween and pumpkins go hand-in-hand. If you’re really on the ball, you have a vine in the backyard creating a handful of jack-o’-lantern canvases. If not, a group outing to a farm stand can be the start of the celebration, with each participant picking their own ghoulish gourd. Carving isn’t necessary, either. Paints and markers can dress up your selections just as easily as a knife. It’s safer for the kids and uncut pumpkins tend to last longer.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to focus entirely on the meal. Ask each family to bring 10 to 20 old photos to pass around the table, either before or after the stuffing. There may be some laughter at the hairstyles and some giggles because of the clothes, but I predict more than a few stories about holidays past will be told as the photos make their rounds.

The stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve is often the ultimate challenge for the little ones. A couple of packages of colorful balloons can stir up more than a little excitement to keep them up or wear them out. In addition to being the basic ingredients for a monster balloon drop, you can search the internet for dozens of simple activities based on the simple balloon.

I encourage you to use these ideas to kick start the creation of your own Christmas activities, avoiding the inevitable price increases, and starting a tradition of creativity.  My enthusiasm for experience over things led me to launch my own company, We Craft Box; a monthly subscription service delivering creative craft experiences for the little ones.

While you absolutely don’t have to launch your own business to fuel your own family’s creative experience, I hope some of the suggestions and stories shared above inspire you to begin a few, non-shopping traditions of your own for this holiday season.

Betsy Wild

Author Bio:  Betsy Wild is a Mompreneur, CEO and Founder of We Craft Box, an award-winning monthly craft box subscription program for children age three to nine years old. We Craft Box is committed to delivering creativity and connection through shared crafting experiences for children, their parents, grandparents and family friends. Betsy is a creative expert with over a decade of creative director experience and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Art, Illustration. She lives with her husband and three children in Florida.


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