There are many ways for us to celebrate

We have made it through Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, and will experience Cyber Monday (because, of course, that is a thing) tomorrow.

The Christmas shopping season is in full swing, with only a few weeks remaining until the big day (or days if you have to split up time in order to see family and friends).

When it comes to holiday shopping, we have an abundance of choices available to us as we look to check off the names and items on our lists.

Some things might not be available locally, and so we turn to the internet to assist us in finding a good purchase.

Others may only be on the shelves of our local big box store (those that are left, anyway).

But you might be surprised at what is around thanks to those businesses owned by our fellow residents. The bigger companies often get the attention, but how many local floral shops, craft stores, beauty or barber shops, mechanics, book stores, etc. do you think are actually around? Most of the businesses that drive our community are smaller, locally owned operations. The money spent in those businesses usually stays in our area, as opposed to larger companies which send their profits back to New York, Los Angeles, Arkansas or somewhere overseas.

Plus, nothing is better than being able to drive a few short miles and talk to someone directly in the event you have a problem with the item you purchased.

We’re fortunate in our area to be a relatively short drive from a few larger shopping areas. People often travel to the Highlands outside of Wheeling, or St. Clairsville, or Robinson Township if they can’t find something in their back yards.

In other words, we have plenty of choices.

But, of course, this season isn’t all about commercialism, and that’s something we have to remember, also.

You don’t have to spend money to have a good Christmas.

Some families have traditions in their gift giving for the holidays.

Perhaps you do a gift exchange, with each family member selecting only one person for which to purchase.

Maybe you are able to make your presents, whether it be an ornament, a home decoration, a table setting, or something larger. In my teens and early 20s, for example, one of my grandmothers made me a nice quilt. My mom has made afghans for some of us over the years. My sister has become crafty at constructing wreaths.

Do you purchase gifts at all? There’s really nothing that says you have to. Maybe your traditions are more related to simply spending time with family and friends. Maybe you gather for a nice dinner or to go for a drive and look at the various Christmas decorations in your hometown.

For a few years, my family would find a theatrical production being held in December, and attend. If it happens to be local, all the better, as it promotes the growth of the arts in our area.

There are some folks who, instead of giving to themselves, find ways to give back by volunteering in their communities. We have many organizations which could use some extra assistance this time of year.

Whether you purchase some extra food to donate, sign up to ring the bell or something else, there are opportunities.

There are many ways to celebrate this cherished time of year. Just remember, it is more about the meaning and feeling of Christmas than the things we might get or have.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)


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