With Thanksgiving next week, the frenzy of the gift-giving season is quickly approaching.
This year, we ask our readers to consider one of the greatest gifts they can give our community: the gift of spending your money where you live.
Before you shell out nearly $4 per gallon on gasoline to travel an hour to spend your money at a chain store in another community, we urge our readers to look at the options in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties.
First, consider the local outlet stores that sell high-quality name-brand accessories, clothing and other items for people of all ages on your Christmas or Hanukkah list.
This is a great option for the trendiest people on your list because many of these stores sell the same merchandise available at department stores, only at deeply discounted prices.
There also are other local stores for clothing and shoes.
If you have a music lover on your list, consider the locally owned shops where you can purchase instruments and accessories for them.
For book worms, visit the locally owned book stores, where nearly every title on your list can be ordered if it's not available in stock.
For wine lovers and foodies, consider the locally made chocolates, wine, cheeses and other treats.
Instead of spending a bundle at a chain bath-products store, consider checking out the locally made soaps, lip balms, candles and more available at various shops.
The region is home to many artists who sell their wares - everything from hand-made gloves and handbags to home decor - through various storefronts, art fairs and online. For the pickiest recipient, this is a way to give a one-of-a-kind gift.
Also available are gift certificates to many fine restaurants or Chamber Checks that can be spent at a variety of local establishments.