As you finish your Christmas shopping, why not spend more here?

This Christmas, many of us have been making an effort to spend our dollars locally, and this shift in shopping habits is one the Spirit wholeheartedly applauds.

As shoppers living in the Eastern Panhandle we’re fortunate because keeping a local focus doesn’t limit us. Because this area is home to world-class artists, authors, restaurateurs and the like, we’re given an enormous opportunity to select gifts that will please even the most discriminating recipient.

Service providers here offer top-notch jewelry, clothes, shoes and other gift ideas as well as food gifts and services such as massages and facials.

Beyond quality, other reasons exist to buy local. Locally owned shops know our community and cater to the specific needs of the people who live here.

Many local businesses go out of their way to patronize local vendors whenever they can – making every dollar spent here go even farther.

And these local business owners also give back at every opportunity – contributing in time and talent all year longto schools, scouts and other local organizations.

Look at Sean O’Leary’s insightful commentary on this very page. He highlights a Dec. 3 New York Times article examining the way many communities and states – including West Virginia – make incredible tax deals in order to land The Big One, that major company that creates jobs and spurs economic activity.

Instead of chasing these elusive goals, West Virginians can brighten our economic picture ourselves, simply by finding local sources for gifts, our family Christmas portrait, Christmas cards, Christmas trees, decorations, special treats and meals, and so many other holiday needs.

This way, our shopping dollars do good not only for the people on our “Nice” list, but for all of us.

That’s a prescription for a truly happy holiday.

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