Michael Aaron

Holiday gifts

This is the 15th holiday shopping guide we’ve produced, and they have all had one thing in common — we always focus on buying local. I’d like to go one step further and tell you what I most like to give for the holidays.

Utah has a rich arts community, but each and every dollar is fought for by the small staffs of each organization. Well, except Hale Center Theatre. The state gives them at least $100,000 each year. Hell, they asked for $2 million a few years ago.

Squirrel! Back to my point.

QSaltLake Magazine readers attend arts events at a rate nearly four times the average Utahn. We support our arts. So, how can we support them even more?

If we want to see the arts continue to thrive here, consider giving theater, opera, ballet, concert, choir, and other tickets or season passes for the holidays.

What could be a better reminder of how great a son or daughter (or however you prefer to call yourself) you are than to give tickets to shows throughout the year? I gave my parents season tickets to the Davis Arts Summer Night with the Stars series last Christmas. Yeah, they had to wait a while before they could use their Christmas gifts, but I got a call from my mother each time to say how much she loved the show.

It is hard to find gifts for people the age of my parents. By this time in their life, if they don’t have it already they probably don’t want or need it. I think the gifts of experiences enriches their lives in a much greater way than an appliance would.

Another idea that I have heard other parents request for gifts is a donation in their name to a charitable organization. Again, they have about everything they need. Supporting organizations doing great work is another way to support and enrich our community.

Even if these ideas aren’t your cup of tea, please give thought to supporting a local small- or micro-business. Take a look at our guide and see if some of these one- and two-person (or maybe up to 12) operations have something that will pique your interest.

Buying local is good for everyone. Not only do your tax dollars stay in the community, but chances are that local business bought from another local business, which in turn did the same. The owners of Amazon won’t notice your $40 or $200, but small business owners will. These people are often working their butt off to make ends meet. That money you spend could mean a meal. Or maybe a night at the arts. Q

Michael Aaron

Michael Aaron is the editor and publisher of QSaltLake. He has been active in Utah's gay and lesbian community since the early 80s and published two publications then and in the 90s.

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