We get it, the allure of two quick clicks or the "buy now" swipe on our phones is tough to ignore during the holiday season. Heck, it's tough to beat the ease of online shopping any time of the year, to be honest.
But especially during the holidays, maybe it's time to take a step back, put the phone down, walk away from the computer and walk to your car. Yes, then it's time to do more walking, since we're going to recommend you make a trip to one of our beautiful, Main Street enclaves that dot the Rockingham County map to fill that space under your Christmas tree.
It's important to make sure the money you spend gets funneled back into the local coffers, and you don't need some big-time, highfalutin' economist to tell you that. It means jobs. It means keeping your local downtown a magnet for life and business.
It also helps keep those mom-and-pop shops we should love open and thriving, which is why it's tough not to smile on Small Business Saturday, which took place this past weekend — a thumb of the nose toward Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all the other nifty nicknames we give big-box store shopping days.
Jeslyn Stiles, director of marketing for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, said supporting local stores is critical to maintaining a vibrant downtown. (See, we're not the only ones who will say that.)
"When you shop at a big-box store, not much, if any, of that money goes back to your community," Stiles said.
Plus the added attraction of not having to fight traffic, and fellow customers, for those big deals that seem too good to pass up. Right?
So if you went downtown to shop on Saturday, pat yourself on the back and make a habit of it. If you didn't, it's not too late; those gifts aren't going to buy themselves.