Updated November 25, 2020
By Ryan Howe, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
The holiday season is officially here. For many of us, it's tradition to celebrate and reunite with distant family and friends-- but this year is different. The pandemic has required us to get creative with our celebrations and try something new, like virtual family dinners or eating an entire pie by yourself (hypothetically, speaking of course).
Thanksgiving was never my favorite holiday, so the break from tradition doesn’t sting too bad. I’ll be just fine ordering Chinese food and hopping on a video call with my family. But, in the hours after stuffing myself with crab rangoon, I’ll start to feel that sting as I sit in my apartment alone and reminisce about one of my favorite holidays: Black Friday.
With doorbuster deals, crowds of parents competing for toys, and lines that you only see before mounting a roller coaster, Black Friday fills me with adrenaline and pure joy. This year, none of that is happening as the pandemic reaches new highs in Colorado and many counties and regions are in Level Red on the state dial.
“It sucks, but you’ll be safer at home,” my mom told me via FaceTime. “And you’ll save your money.”
She is half right. While I’ll be avoiding both the virus and getting elbowed in the chin by a mom from Arvada, I most definitely will not be saving money.
This holiday season, I’ll get the chance to buy gifts from local shops without ever leaving my house. When you shop locally, even online, 70% of the money you spend stays in the local economy. There are more than 611,000 small businesses in Colorado, many of which you can find via the #ShopLocalColorado holiday campaign.
From this list you can find Colorado-inspired, made, and curated gifts at every-click, from Burlington to Palisade, Craig to La Junta, and everywhere in between. Colorado has chocolate, cheese, and salsa for foodies; distilled spirits for the craft cocktail enthusiast; and locally made outerwear, skis, and any piece of gear you could imagine for the outdoor adventurer; and so much more I hardly know where to start!
For even more, visit the comprehensive list of Colorado gift ideas that the Colorado Tourism Office compiled, bringing together the best of Colorado gifts in one place.
So while shopping in my sweatpants from home isn’t what I was hoping for this holiday season, it’s not a bad plan B. And we don’t even need to (virtually) leave the Centennial state to check everyone off your season’s gift list. Every click will be supporting our fellow Coloradans - which could be the biggest gift we give this year.