More than one way to shop local

With Light Up Night and Super Sunday now behind us, it's safe to say the Christmas push is on.

With Light Up Night and Super Sunday now behind us, it’s safe to say the Christmas push is on — and with that comes the annual encouragement to spend your gift money locally.

In our page one piece this week, we talked to several local shop owners about their holiday traffic. The thing that was most encouraging to hear? How many of them are also looking to purchase their gifts locally. Paying it forward, as it were, can only benefit the community.

This holiday season, we’d like to encourage everyone in the community to make a similar commitment, in whatever way is reasonable for you. Depending on your budget, maybe that’s $50 spent locally, or all your stocking stuffers or office secret Santa gifts. Not only are you keeping cash circulating in the local economy, but there’s also the warm fuzzies that come with a goal accomplished.

For those looking to cut down on the amount of stuff circulated around between now and 2012, here’s another suggestion: Charitable gifts have come into vogue in a big way in recent years. You can buy a llama in mom’s name, or several mosquito nets in honour of cousin Jimmy.

You can do the same locally.

The Columbia Valley Christmas Bureau is expecting another big year, with more than 200 families requesting hampers. Organizer Gail Hoffmann says the group is still taking pledges to build this year’s baskets of food and goodies, and will do so until December 9.

On a completely different front, the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Invermere Business Committee is still selling off the Whiteway metre by metre to fund its Guinness Book of World Records challenge. A few metres could not only help boost the area’s winter economy, but also comes with a certificate that fits quite handily into a stocking.

There are plenty more worthy causes around the valley. A little creative thinking could result not only in a creative gesture, but one that has a lasting impact once the LED lights have gone off and the window decorations have been changed out for the new year.

The Valley Echo