Opinion

Everything Bremerton: Keeping Kitsap in the black

Black Friday is upon us. Let the twisted bargain hunting games begin. The really hardcore shopping experts have their plans in place and are putting the final touches on their battle strategies. Lists are compiled, maps are produced and targeted retailers are marked accordingly. Scissors are sharpened in anticipation of the carnage they will wreak upon the innocent yet seductive discount coupons hiding among the folds of this week’s newspapers. Alarm clocks are set to go off during the darkest hours of the “early bird” morning when the worms aren’t even awake yet. Comfortable shoes are chosen for the miles of concrete walking and clothing is layered for both indoor and outdoor comfort depending on the length of the line or the depth of the discounts.

For me, this year’s holiday season has a much different economic feel to it. Money is tighter for just about everyone and cut backs or concessions on gifts will need to be made in a majority of households, including mine. More time and thought than ever before will be needed to decide or determine every single purchase.

Many of our friends, neighbors and employers in the business community are hanging their future continuation and success on every single dollar they can get from shoppers this year. While I am all for the fun and savings that go along with that exceptional sale or bargain, I am also mindful of keeping those dollars where they matter most and where they will benefit my community the most, which is locally.

As you work your way through your holiday shopping this year, think local. What can you purchase from local businesses? How many dollars can you pour into the Kitsap economy? Could your purchase help to save a local job? Could it help to keep a local store in business?

And about the holiday gifts themselves, does a gift really need to be the latest gadget or number one selling toy every single year? Could it be an experience instead? How about a purchase that encourages or promotes quality time together?

Take the time and care to choose your gifts thoughtfully this year, whether they are a commercial retail purchase or a simple hug and thank you. Think about your neighbors and your community and how your purchases can help them keep afloat and stay in business. The best gift of all could be your treatment of others and a simple shopping investment in your community.

When shopping this year, be patient, don’t stress and most of all just have some fun.

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