Welcome to a weekly segment called "Social Circle." It's OnMilwaukee.com's first article that's truly a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors.
Every Monday, we ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in the Thursday column. Well-known Milwaukee movers and shakers will contribute, too.
The words "buy local" are so common these days, it's possible that they have lost meaning for some people. But not for these Milwaukeeans who plan to avoid the malls and buy gifts from Milwaukee / Wisconsin shop owners and crafts people.
What about you? Gonna spend your holiday dollars in small shops or are the malls calling your name? Weigh in via the Talkback feature.
Melinda Andorfer: "I'm already done with Christmas shopping. I don't like to fight with crazies."
Melanie Ariens: "Boswell Books! And handmade with local supplies."
Carrie Antlfinger: "Art vs. Craft!"
Rosemary Brunetto: "Fischberger's Variety!"
Dave Burkowitz: "The Brass Rooster."
Melanie Becker Hovey: "Lemon Street Gallery in Kenosha."
Denise Cawley: "Yes, mostly making all gifts."
Lisa Desmond: "Fischberger's and the Tamarack Holiday Fair for the kids, and Xpressions yarn store in West Bend for the grown-ups. (Xpressions is "local" to most of the people I'll be knitting for). And gift cards to Bliffert's."
Brandy Glass-Lucchesi: "Brandy's Candles!"
Theresa Kilkenney: "RRRAGS. Really great event."
Julia Killian: "Lela for great 'girly' gifts, Third Ward Jewelry for earrings for my daughter and cuff links for my brother."
Andrea Kopan: "I am really hoping people stop by Oniomania in West Allis!"
Chris Krajniak: "Yah, I'm shopping at Chris Krajniak Artworks!"
Juli Kaufman: "No gifts (thank goodness) in my circles, but lots of holiday food treats for and with family and friends. Purple Door Ice Cream, Northern Chocolate, Thief Wine, Great Lake's Distillery, Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee Brewing Company, Bolzano Meats, Larry's Market for Cheese, and Winter's Farmers Market. Oh, and European Homemade Sausage Shop."
Stacy La Point: "Buy Local Gift Fair and the RRRAGs."
Jessica Larson: "Yes, downtown Racine, Sheepish, Dimples and few other stores."
Lisa Mahan: "Yeah, Fischberger's Variety! Does Pick 'N Save count?"
Lisa Malmarowski: "Oh, how I'll try! Local antique malls, Art vs. Craft, the Buy Local Gift Fair, Salamander in the Tosa village, Private Gardener in Shorewood, Winkies."
Hannah Medrow: "Fischberger's Variety, Bliffert Lumber, Lela, 2011 International Gift Shop, RRRAGs, Art vs. Craft, Riverwest Film & Video, the possibilities are too numerous to keep listing. It can be done, and it will be a much more pleasant experience for you if you do it."
Milo Miller: "Sky High Gallery, Beans N Barley, Fischberger's Variety, Artist & Display, Boswell Book Company to name a few. I'll probably also spend a little money on a couple of cool Etsy sellers or indie record labels and also make a donation or three to orgs like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of Wisconsin."
Sarah Moore: "Yup, I am gonna shop from my gift drawer where I hoard gifts all year, my pantry of local canned foods and RRRAGS. I do have one item planned to order from out of town."
Melissa Musante: "Milwaukee Artist Resource Network's ARTibles holiday event. Featuring works from over 50 local artists, writers and musicians."
Bjorn Olaf Nassett: "I am shopping for one of the family members that the hospice I volunteer for adopted for Christmas. I am getting the few needs that they asked for. I will look locally definitely."
Laura Nitsch: "I make my gifts. Jewelry, scrapbooks, collage framed art, etc. More fun and more meaningful."
Sheila Postotnik: "Doggie Doo's by Shanna, the best groomer with the best holistic and super cool dog products."
Julie Ragland: "Great Lakes Distillery. Art vs. Craft."
Dick Satan: "Yes! Great Lakes Distillery!"
Jessica Schafer: "Absolutely! I usually do a lot of my holiday shopping at local artist fairs and specialty pop-up markets like Art vs. Craft and Hover Craft. I also tend to buy memberships for non-profits like Pabst Mansion and Wisconsin Historical Society. And fill in any blanks with a visit to the Racine Art Museum Store."
Renee Scherck-Meyer: "100 percent of all my gifts will be small, local businesses: Thief Wine, Indulgence chocolates, Lela boutique, Milwaukee Artist Resource Network's ARTibles, Fair Trade for All, Ruhamas."
Michael Schmidt: "Boswell Books and Little Monsters."
Lisa Spangler: "I shop for as little as possible. I do not believe in shopping and giving a gift just because. I like consumables. I do shop for my 'white elephant' gifts all year and local."
Becky Tesch: "MARN's holiday shop, ARTibles, I'll be vending at Art Vs. Craft again, Sparrow Collective Gallery, Project M Boutique, Hover Craft, Kunzelman Esser's craft show, Tamarak School Holiday Fair and the Milwaukee Bike Swap!"
Michelle Zerzanek: "Art vs. Craft on Saturday!"