Valley's one-of-a-kind holiday moments remind us to shop local

To everything, there is a season. To "everything," add holiday lights, songs and spirit.

I studiously ignore those holiday lights that pop up early—before Thanksgiving, that is—around the Valley and in parts far and wide.

But now that December is upon us, we enter the holiday season, in full swing. Go ahead, I say, show your spirit.

In the next few days, cities and community groups will present the official Christmas tree lightings, holiday markets and bazaars that officially kick off the holidays in the Snoqualmie Valley.

I encourage everyone to take part in these gatherings, which really showcase the sense of the local. More than any other time or place, small-town celebrations allow you to meet your neighbors, see the spirit of those around you and come together in unity.

As you continue your holiday routines, follow through on that spirit, and explore what your Valley has to offer. This holiday season, remember to shop locally.

While our Valley has had its successes in surviving a tough economy, you should know that nearby retailers depend on you. Your decision to dine, pick up needed supplies and buy services in the Valley is what drives the local merchant economy, in turn keeping the Valley a good place to live and work. Our businesses need each other, and many are working in partnership to provide you with more and better choices. Thriving businesses in turn support the Snoqualmie Valley's charitable organizations, our schools and our cities. Think about where your dollar might go, and what it might do, the next time you're contemplating a 60-mile shopping trip into the 'big city.' Is there a local business that could just as easily serve that need?

So, when you sip your cocoa and sing a carol in days ahead at the Snoqualmie, Fall City, Carnation or North Bend tree lighting ceremonies, remember that these activities don't happen for free, or in isolation. Shop local, and keep such blessings flowing around the Valley.


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