By Angelo Lynn
This Christmas season make saying hello to your local businesses a personal goal. Not every single business in town, but the ones you most frequent and the ones you occasionally shop in to get that needed item or two.
Think it’s a short list; that there aren’t that many local businesses to visit?
In addition to local clothing, toy and jewelry shops, it’s the hardware store, lumber yard, pet supply and yard and garden store. It’s the grocery, bakery, lunch spot, coffee or tea house that you visit every week – or, for some, almost every day of the year. It’s a favorite sandwich shop, restaurant or bar. And it’s where you enjoy the arts – the movie theater, galleries, museums, opera house or town hall theaters.
It’s your local pharmacy, your doctor, your barber or hairdresser, and where you go to get a massage, acupuncture, yoga, physical therapy or any other treatment or activity that helps keeps your body in line and in sync.
It’s the business that helps keep you fit – your local fitness club, community health center, tennis club, or, in winter, Killington, Pico, Okemo and Suicide Six ski resorts, or Mendon Mountain Nordic Center. It’s your favorite outdoor sporting goods store.
And it’s your local retailer, whether that has to do with clothing, sports, communications, kitchen or home, flowers and gifts, cards and crafts, books, picture frames, music or computer games.
If you took a moment to think of all the local places you visit and use throughout the year, you’d be grateful for their presence. What would really help is to make a point of adding them to your shopping list and, at the very least, looking through their wares before you buy out of town or online.
We all know that our local stores are a vital part of our community; but we don’t always pay them the personal visits we should. Do it now. They will be genuinely happy you did, and so will you.
Still can’t you can’t find that perfect gift? Think of something that’s not wrapped up in a box. Think of an activity that gets them outside for the next four-to-five months of winter.
In addition to skiing and riding, snowshoes or a fat bike could make great gifts – and you can rent them and/or sign them up for a lesson if they’re beginners.
Or consider a pass to one of the local fitness centers, or perhaps a personal training session? Or join a walking club in your town (or form one) and meet up for regular walks outside (or inside: the Diamond Run Mall in Rutland offers a decent distance to walk indoors in inclement weather.)
Whatever you do this winter, stay active and embrace Vermont’s winter as much as you can. It’s invigorating, fun and keeps you healthy and happy – what better gift could you give?