Shopping at home is good for all

Published 11:03 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2003

By Staff
The weather has taken a noticable turn toward the wintry over the past several days here. Not that it's been cold by any means, but it's been cool enough to get a feel for the drop in temperature to come. Cool enough to think about it, to move the sweaters and coats a bit closer to the front of the closet, where they'll be easy to lay hands on when needed.
This is my favorite time of year, when it turns cool enough to feel as though the seasons will soon be changing -- even though in the deep south it can be argued that they never really do.
If you're anything like me, the first hint of cool weather brings many things to mind. Inevitably, one of them is the impending holiday season, and all it brings with it. As soon as it's cool enough for a long sleeve, I'm looking for decorations and thinking about spending time with family.
And, like everyone else, the coming necessity of holiday shopping begins tugging at the back of my mind.
There are a lot of ways to go about shopping for the holidays, especially nowadays, in our mobile and interconnected society. But all of those methods should begin in one place -- at home, in the shops of the hometown merchants we recognize and know by name.
That's especially true in a small town, where every purchase matters in so many different ways.
It means a great deal not only to the store owner, for whom the holidays may well be a foundation upon which the next 12 months of doing business are built. It also holds a tangible benefit for all the rest of us. Shopping at home begins a cycle, creating a network of civic underpinnings that make life better for everyone in town.
Each dollar spent in the community turns over many times. They find their way from the merchants we shop with to other merchants, to the city and county through sales tax collections, and eventually into our schools, streets and other publicly supported services.
Shopping at home is a way to maintain and improve our community, making the quality of life here better for everyone. It's already pretty darn good.
But to keep it that way and make it better, it takes all of us looking in before we look out. Shopping at home is a good way to get that started.
Brewton is a funny place in some ways. Among the things we consider benefits of living here is its proximity to some fun and interesting places, like Pensacola and other tourist destinations along the panhandle. But at the same time, there's always a lot going on right here in town -- enough to make you forget about those other places and how nearby they are. This weekend is a good example. There will be a fair going on by the Message Center, sponsored by the T.R. Miller band boosters as a way of raising money. There will be a 5k Walk/Run at the YMCA.
And of course with Halloween coming up at the end of the week, there will be the haunted house at JDCC and other fun events surrounding the spooky holiday.
Who needs to leave?
It's the same way with shopping. Sure, there are strip malls galore within an hour's drive, but there is enough right here in town to meet almost any need as well. Certainly enough that Brewton itself should be a starting point for us when we begin looking for gifts this season
Not only is it the smart thing to do, and the right thing to do, it's also the most convenient.
Shopping at home matters, to all of us, to the town. That's something we should keep in mind this and every season. It is, after all, the spirit of giving that makes the holidays so special.
Why not make our first priority giving the gift of security and prosperity to the community we call home?

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