Publisher’s Perspective

Chad Koenen

Christmas. It’s the time of year for yuletide carols, egg nog, ugly sweaters, Christmas concerts, holiday traditions and getting together with family that all-too-quickly remind us as to why we only see them once a year. 

Christmas is also a time for maniac shoppers trying to find a cheap deal on a TV that we don’t need, or an arm full of DVDs that we didn’t purchase when they first came out, but for $2 it’s hard to beat the price (even though 10 years from now they will still be in the plastic wrapping from the store). 

Growing up I can never remember going Black Friday shopping. Maybe it was because my parents typically worked the day after Thanksgiving, or we were at my grandparents house and the idea of getting up at the crack of dawn to save a few bucks on a step stool didn’t seem that appealing. 

That being said, one of the first years Dani and I were married I remember going to the Target in Alexandria to purchase a portable DVD player for our vehicle. When the doors opened at midnight, you know after waiting in the cold for like an hour, I was struck by the ridiculousness that ensued. 

People were ramming carts into one another, screaming profanities to get out of the way and trying to race through the store to find what I can only assume was a golden locket or some other priceless item at the back of the store. At one point I thought about following a group of people around to see if there was a hidden treasure somewhere in the store, but I was afraid they would turn into Gollum from Lord of the Rings and take it from me anyway.

As I waited in line for over an hour to purchase a DVD player, that broke a year or two later anyway, I started wondering if this was really worth it. People were bragging about how they got almost all of their Christmas shopping done in the matter of minutes, but were exasperated that they couldn’t get this toy or that, and were even getting upset with people in front of me who were purchasing “non Black Friday items” and holding up the line. Of course, this was before our current smart phones and I had to wait in line playing a game of Tetris or Snake. 

People don’t go out to shop as much as they used to in person on Black Friday, but it is still a crazy day to head out to the stores and search for a good deal. 

When all the craze of Black Friday comes to a conclusion we should remember the importance of shopping local this holiday season. Sure we can’t purchase everything we need in town for the holidays, but you can buy more than you think. The money that you spend in town, as opposed to Amazon or major big box stores, the more money that stays in our community. There is a trickle down effect to our schools, community organizations and even this newspaper as local retailers advertise their items for sale to keep this publication afloat. Without their support we wouldn’t be here. 

I know the shopping local talk becomes white noise this time of year, but when we all purchase something in town we can do our part to keeping a business in town. 

Coloring contest

In keeping with tradition, our annual coloring contest is underway. The coloring contest is featured in this week’s issue, but additional copies can be picked up at our office during regular office hours. 

The deadline to enter the coloring contest is Dec. 8. All of the entries we receive will be entered into a grand prize drawing for one $50 Visa Gift Card. There will also be individual prizes for each of our four age groups.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 385-7720.