Christmas is a blink away and if you are reading this, you too are a last minute Charlie. No worries. You can get everything done in time and with ease. Don’t even let your blood pressure blow out of proportion. This year no more waiting on those treacherous lines in Walmart or other department stores filled with over anxious fellow late comers. This year try something new-shop locally. What-and spend more? I can already hear your mind hashing out the cons. Slumber your objections and think about it for a minute. It’s probably been a while for some of you, but go down to your local Main Street and visit some of the local shops.
With the rise in so many Targets, Walmarts and other highly advertised chain stores, you are missing out on a lot of unique gifts and beautiful items. Your local businesses are owned by community people just like you. Like you, they work hard at what they do. With the economy the way it is and the competition of the large chain stores, these businesses need all the support they can come by to stay open. When shopping locally you’ll find you are putting money back into your own community; strengthening the core of your own backyard. Become re-acquainted with the hidden jewels in your own town. You’ll find these local stores carry interesting, unique products and services. You’ll find local businesses also provide their customers with excellent service. They understand your shopping experience will determine your return. Make sure to check out a local gift shop for some great gifts. I bet you’ll be surprised by all beautiful items these local businesses offer! Want to save even more? Make sure to check out your local publications for coupons! Many local merchants advertise sales and offer coupons to get you in the door. Scan your local consumer magazines or mailings you receive to see what they are offering!
If you feel trepidation at the thought of changing your usual shopping routine or have a favorite store you refuse to give up, consider purchasing a few products locally. Whether it’s a gift for your child’s teacher or co-worker or even a beautiful set of Christmas cards, keep it local. If the community binds together and makes it a priority to keep some of their spending within their own towns, they will pump up their local economy. You don’t need to shop at large chain store to save money. You’ll be surprised at how many local stores offer valuable deals as well. Also consider, you will spend less time in lines, less gas if you keep it local and that’s more time and money to spend with and on your family and loved ones! So take the challenge this season. Take a nice stroll through your local downtown, enjoy some hot delicious coffee from a local shop and try to pick up a few gifts and items locally. Give back to your own town, after all, a community is driven by it’s residents. Happy holidays and a prosperous and healthy new year!