EDITORIAL: Spend shopping dollars close to home

York Dispatch

It’s crunch time.

The holiday shopping season is  underway in earnest.

Those among us who celebrate the holidays by sharing gifts — who make their lists and check them twice — might  want to check out the many offerings available from York retailers.

There’s certainly no reason not to.

With the arrival of Black Friday, the much-touted biggest shopping day of the year, holiday sales and specials abound. And when it comes to taking advantage of those deals, there really is no place like home.

The downtown shopping district has been bedecked, the better to put us all in the spirit of giving.

Even the weather has decided to cooperate this year.

More:Thanksgiving travel conditions ideal, forecaster says

It’s no secret that the city is home to scores of small, one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques. But these brick-and-mortar stores sometimes get passed over in favor of the laptop.

Online shopping has its place, but it can’t displace the one-on-one customer service, the confidence of seeing and holding a purchase in real life or the joyous jolt that comes with finding just the right gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list — that gift you didn’t know you needed until you saw it.

More:Downtown York gears up for Small Business Saturday

So take advantage of the diverse shopping opportunities York affords. Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25 is intended to direct shoppers’ attention to Main Street merchants. Local retailers are prepared to step into the spotlight and hoping to be busier than Santa’s elves right up to Christmas Eve.

Indeed, don’t put local retailers in the rear-view mirror after Small Business Saturday; they depend on a busy holiday retail season. Many make as much as half of their annual earnings in the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And when they prosper, York prospers. A vibrant merchant base is important to the economic health of any community. And while we should keep neighborhood retailers foremost in mind year-round, it is particularly vital that we patronize them during this busiest of shopping seasons.

Not that doing so is some sort of altruistic duty. Don’t get the idea that marching through the front doors of a local shop is like entering the Red Cross to give blood — a painful but necessary good deed. Far from it!

More:York stores open for Thanksgiving, weekend shopping

After all, when you can cross gifts off your list ranging from specialty soaps to vinyl albums to boho clothing to a new Harley, you’re in something very much like gift-giving nirvana.

And when you’re ready to take a break from dashing through the snow (you never know; there might be snow), don’t forget our restaurants, coffee shops and similar meeting places.

There are many reasons we are lucky to call York home. A robust shopping, dining and social climate is foremost among them.

Let’s take advantage of that climate this holiday season. Let’s direct our gift-giving dollars toward our friends and neighbors.

When it comes to holiday gift-giving, let’s put York first.