Viewpoint: Buying Locally for Christmas

We all love this time of year, the parades, the concerts, the parties…and of course the shopping.

First, I hope you will support your local stores and spend your money locally. When you shop on-line or from a catalog, you are taking money away from your  local store's profits, many of which are owned or operated by your friends and neighbors. They also employee many of our local citizens who's job depends on those local profits.

If you're like me, you have received more catalogs than ever before.  But notice most will only wish you a "happy holiday." Why do they seem to forget that other name for the December 25th celebration, called Christmas?

I got their Holiday catalog, from one Holiday gift ideas from another I can buy gifts for the holiday traveler Running behind?  I got one for last minute Holiday shopping.

Holiday baking,  holiday decorating, holiday entertaining, it's crazy. My suggestion as soon as you see this throw them away

Do these large companies realize that by trying so hard not to offend anyone, they are offending the more than 90 percent of us who celebrate Christmas? Who do they think are more likely to buy their "Christmas presents" than those of us who celebrate Christmas?

So we say it's OK to say "Merry Christmas", and shop locally. For Christmas, Buy local. Eat local. Be local.

It's the Christmas shopping season again, and we all must stick together and shop local.

By supporting locally-owned businesses you can "pay it forward", keeping money in the local economy and keeping local business owners in business...

Recent studies show that, for every $100 spent at a locally owned business,  $45 stays in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the city's tax base. Three times the amount generated by a national chain or franchise store. When you do the math, it's easy to understand why it's so important to keep those dollars in the local economy by shopping and eating at locally-owned businesses.

Local businesses employ an array of supporting services in their communities, such as architects, cabinet shops, sign makers, and construction contractors. Local businesses use local accountants, insurance brokers, and attorneys, to keep things running smoothly.

In return, those hired by local businesses, return the favor by doing business with them. It's back scratching in its highest form.

While calling an 800 number or shopping on line, may provide some instant gratification, in the long run it may cost more than you bargained for in terms of the value local businesses return to their communities.

Local business owners and employees typically have a high level of expertise and a passion for the products they sell. They also tend to have a greater interest in getting to know their customers, who are, after all, are their neighbors and friends.

Local businesses create a sense of place for a community, but they can only survive if they are supported. Local owners, who typically invest much of their life savings into their businesses, have a vested interest in the long-term economic health of a community. They are also essential to local charitable endeavors, and their owners frequently serve on local boards and support numerous causes, all in the name of building a better, stronger community for those who live there.

So remember, …Buy local. Eat local, and pay it forward!