It’s the annual Christmas rush — shop, think local

And... down the stretch they come!

Yes, the madness of holiday shopping is beginning to hit the final corner and on to the homestretch. Lunch hours at work are becoming a bit lengthier, fingers are getting swollen from clicking on keyboards while shopping online and parking spaces are increasingly turning into minor battlegrounds, as fewer spaces and more stress combine for more incendiary conflicts.

It is indeed beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

With only a week to go before the big day falls upon us, we ask you all, once again, to think local with your shopping needs. Sure, there are some specific items people on your lists are asking for that require you to visit the big-box stores or their online offerings, but most people simply want something that comes straight from the heart and carries some significance with it.

Our local conglomeration of businesses offers plenty of opportunities to find that special gift that offers a little bit of this community with it. Crabcakes, popcorn and taffy are always favorites when it comes to offering someone a small culinary slice of what we have, and local artists offer aesthetic representations of the place we are proud to call home. There are also toy stores and gift shops and other retail establishments that offer unique ideas.

Think local, shop local this year.