The most wonderful time of the year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
—”It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Are you in the Christmas spirit yet? Afterall, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! With Thanksgiving Day now firmly in the rearview mirror we have officially entered the Christmas season, and all the joy and merriment that this season (should, we hope) bring you.
Yes, late fall/early winter can be bleak, with cold temperatures, darkness before 5 p.m. and the overall malaise and cabin fever that are part and parcel of winter. But, during the Christmas season, we find ourselves with a little bit more of a pep in our step as we hear Christmas songs on the radio and in stores, Christmas decorations around town and the opportunity to give to others and volunteer to help those giving to others. Everyone just seems a little bit happier during the Christmas season. Well, not everyone, but most everyone. There are always those Grinches out there, but we hope they too can find the Christmas spirit that is in all of us.
Christmas is about so much more than commercialism and shopping, but we would be remiss if we didn’t ask you for a favor if you are of the shopping type—remember to attempt to shop local before you head to those big box stores in Rapid City or fire up your computer to go online shopping. The local businesses have plenty to offer, and you’re doing the town so much good by choosing to spend your dollars locally.
The reasons to shop locally are numerous, not the least of which is that when you shop locally, more money is kept in the community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base. The sales tax revenue generated here stays here, which in turn helps the city able to bette provide services. It’s a true win-win.
When you shop local you are helping businesses that help you. The businesses here give to nonprofits. They donate their money and time to other endeavors. They may have even help purchase the uniforms for your child’s youth soccer league team. The same can’t be said of Wal-Mart. The big box stores are glad to take your money, but they aren’t going to sponsor your child’s trip to Scouting camp or whatever else our youth need.
It’s Christmastime, so pour a cup of hot chocolate, watch a Hallmark holiday movie and enjoy the season. We hope it’s magic finds you well. We know it will us.

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