It’s shopping season — think locally this year

As we hit the time of the year when we fill our credit card balances to the point when we can spend the rest of the year trying to pay them back down, we find it the perfect time to remind our readers to think local for many of their buying needs.

Yes, we know that there are some items that can only be purchased at the big-box stores, or some goods that can be bought online for a fraction of the cost. And that’s completely reasonable. We all have budget concerns, or selective gift recipients, we have to account for, and you have to do what you have to do to get by in life.

But there is also something to be said for giving someone a gift that is unique to this area, or giving someone in this community a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant, salon or gym. There’s a personal touch in a gift like that, and you can only find that sort of thing in a local establishment.

There is also the concept of keeping money in the area. There has been a great Internet meme making the rounds for the past year or so that says when you buy local you are not feeding a corporation or buying a CEO a second vacation home, you are helping someone pay his or her mortgage, Little League dues or a night out with the spouse at a local restaurant.

By keeping our remarkable shops and restaurants busy during the holiday season, we also give those business owners a chance at staying open longer through the offseason, which benefits all of us.

Think local for your holiday needs.