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Keep some Christmas cash here

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Remember local businesses when shopping this holiday season

By John Whitlock

Have you noticed how Black Friday is becoming a bigger deal each year?

Back 10 or 12 years ago when big retailers started opening up before the break of dawn to offer special deals the day after Thanksgiving, it wasn’t really that big of a deal. I had no interest in going out in what I would call the middle of the night to go shopping, and I had a hard time imagining who would.

Part of the job for any good reporter is going out and finding out what other people think, and I had my eyes opened on my first Black Friday in Corbin.

I got out of bed around 4 a.m., took a shower, fixed a pot of coffee and wandered out to the local Walmart.

I figured there would be maybe a dozen people there, bundled up and camped out like they were waiting for Journey concert tickets to go on sale in 1979.

As I pulled up, I was amazed.

Although it was still dark, the parking lot looked nearly full. A crowd surrounded the front door. Without question, there were at least 300 people milling about, waiting to go inside.

There were lots of impatient, somewhat angry looking people, but few smiles and even less Christmas spirit.

I’m not a big fan of guerilla Christmas shopping. Sure, I would love to save a few bucks, but getting Christmas presents shouldn’t be a re-enactment of  storming the beach at Normandy circa 1944. I prefer my Christmas to be a little more Charlie Brown and a little less Private Ryan.

I remember what can only be called a “simpler time.”

The Ben Franklin store in downtown Cynthiana would open Santa Land in early December. Sure, it was only a regular warehouse cleaned up for the holiday with toys pushed to the front and some decorations thrown up — but to me it may as well have been Santa’s workshop.

Strolling around that special place meant a lot more to me than saving money. It was a memory in the making.

It’s the kind of experience you just can’t find at Best Buy.

The economy is still in trouble and Owenton has been hit as hard as anyone.

So this Christmas, as you’re making your lists, make sure you remember your neighbors who own or work at the local stores. They depend on your business to stay open, and Christmas would be a great time to make sure you keep some of your money right here in Owen County.

You may not be able to get some things in Owen County, but take the time to think about what you can get here in your hometown before heading out to another city.

You can get all the trimmings you need for a great holiday meal at any of the grocery stores here in Owenton ... and probably save a considerable amount of cash at the same time.

There are plenty of specialty and variety shops in Owen County and Owenton that have been ready and eager to serve you, and have been for decades. They are looking to make you happy and bring you back to their store.

You probably won’t believe the variety of merchandise you can find until you stop by and see for yourself.

If you have someone hard to shop for on your list, check out some of the consignment or antique stores in the community. You never know what you might find there.

So take a pledge this Christmas to help out the local merchants. You’ll not only be helping them, you’ll be helping yourself.