I was listening to the news and they were talking about the economy, where people are spending their money, and so on.  “Durable goods” was a word that kept coming up.  It does seem easier to spend extra for quality on “durable goods” like TV’s, cars, etc.  At a December farmer’s market some friends stocked up on chicken, saying it was worth it to them to have good, nourishing food rather than more stuff.  Hmmm…. that got me thinking.  In prioritizing my spending for the family, we have sometimes had fewer or “lesser quality” goods so we could have better quality food (does an extra $10-$15 spent on a 5 year old boy’s shoes really make them last longer?).  Of all the “life time warranties” you’ve gotten on things, will any of those things actually outlast you?  A few, perhaps.  Few things you’ll buy this Christmas will outlast the bodies of yourself and your loved ones.  Nor are few things more valuable than good health.  I’d never thought of the whole grains, pastured meats, and organically raised veggies we eat as being “durable goods” investments, but they really are.  The gift of good health I can provide to my children is something that’ll last them a long time.

In that vein, my sister had some “hard to buy for” people on her list.  She decided that “unique” and “local” would be good ideas.  Smoked chicken came to mind.  Baker’s Green Acres smoked chicken certainly fit those categories and was something those folks wouldn’t have already.  She acquired wonderful gifts for those folks for, if I remember right, about $15 or less.  The larger smoked birds can run near $20, which is still reasonable for a tasty, unique gift that will be appreciated and enjoyed by whomever you give it to.

Another thought: parties.  Chicken wings make an easy party treat.  Bake at 425 degrees for one hour.  Top with your favorite wing sauce or BBQ sauce. Serve hot.  They will be on sale for 20% off through New Year’s.  You may think about stocking up for the SuperBowl, too!

One last thought.  Bill O’Reilly was talking about the economy one day and stated that he really is in a good position and is going to try to “spread the wealth” on his own this year.  He’s tipping bigger, looking for ways to support local people with direct purchases, etc. It occurred to me that, while not as “comfortable” as Mr. O’Reilly, I can share the wealth I have.   Statistically, “they” say only 80-90 cents of the dollar you spend at Wal-Mart stays in your community.  Conversely, about 80 cents of a dollar spend with a local craftsman or businessman circulates locally.  Consider taking in a few craft shows for your gift buying, or look for locally produced, unique food items.  Some of our listees are getting pottery made with locally harvested clay and natural soap from our friends at the Plum Pumpkin in Luther.  We will be blessing out-of-state relatives with food boxes containing smoked chicken, chicken sausage, and homemade bread.  Local Harvest is a website where you can purchase gifts directly from the producers and have them shipped.  There are several websites now that catalog local producers of food items.  So, even those of us who aren’t independently wealthy can “share our wealth.”