Christmas can’t be far away.
Thanksgiving is yet to arrive and usher in the biggest shopping day of the year, but it is right around the corner.
I certainly understand that there is much more to Christmas than the commercial aspects. A later column will deal with that.
I want to encourage you to spend a little time and support our neighbors during the Christmas shopping season this year.
For good or ill in a philosophical sense, Christmas sales are a huge part of the average year’s revenue for the average retailer. Many will see a quarter to a third of their total sales in the month before Christmas.
That is a huge impact on our neighbors that help us pay the bills around here.
They are the ones who have invested in Ashe County. They pay property taxes that run county and town government.
They donate to local churches and aid organizations to make them work.
They volunteer to organize the groups that make Ashe a better place to live.
Recent economic challenges are making business operations difficult for these neighbors. Auto sales have fallen off dramatically in the wake of the credit crunch. Everyone is being more careful with their dollars, either knowing the new year holds little extra spending money or wondering what calamity awaits them next.
That is why I want to urge you to spend what few dollars you have for Christmas celebrations and finery locally to support your neighbors.
There will be the temptation to make use of the ease of shopping on line to avoid taxes. But those people aren’t your neighbors. Those people aren’t going to help pay for your law enforcement or operation of other county services.
There will be the temptation to drive 120 miles round trip to Winston-Salem to shop for just the right item for a little less money.
How much is that item worth, an extra $50 to $60 just to drive down and get it?
One thing I have learned since moving here is that folks in Ashe County hang together. They may fight amongst themselves, but don’t let anyone else mess with one of the neighbors.
This is a perfect time to demonstrate that unity.
Think also of the unique things that Ashe offers that would pass along your Christmas gift-giving message uniquely. Shop locally.
Adamson is editor/general manager and lives in West Jefferson.