Shopping Local for the Holidays

Monument Square, Urbana, Ohio, aglow with the Christmas spirit.

The other day, as I completed a project for one of my freelance writing clients, Vince Guaraldi’s jazz instrumentals from A Charlie Brown Christmas played in the background on Spotify. Old familiar music like that takes me back – say, to the night that Charlie Brown first bemoaned the commercialization of Christmas on national TV, and I was 8 years old.

Another vision from my Christmases past is the enchanting, mechanized window displays of the Wolf & Dessauer department store, a retail institution that dated back to the 1890s in downtown Fort Wayne. Those displays ranked high among local Christmas traditions – until L.S. Ayres bought W&D’s, and Christmas shopping got carted off to the malls.

The good news is that Champaign County, Ohio, offers plenty of opportunities to shop at distinctive, locally-owned stores that offer quality merchandise, personal service and the fun of exploring.

When you shop at these stores, your money stays in Champaign County to promote the local economy.  And there’s no having to search for your car when it’s time to go home.

In the next several Champaign Uncorked! blog posts I will feature some of the many locally-owned businesses that offer pleasant shopping experiences at Christmas and throughout the year.

Check Out Chamber Checks

The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce also offers a solution for those of you who don’t like to shop or have someone who’s difficult to shop for: Chamber Checks.

Call the Chamber – 937-653-5764 – to find out more about Chamber Checks, which can be purchased any time of year in denominations of $10, $25 and $50, with no service charge or purchasing fee. They work like a gift certificate and can be used for purchases at more than 100 retail shops, restaurants, salons and other service providers throughout Champaign County (a list of participating businesses is provided with each Chamber Check).

Until next time, what are your favorite local shopping venues?

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