Holiday memories can include presents from hometowns

Dave Bergmeier

Consumers hear so much about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday their heads are spinning by now. Those dates are important as retailers look to get their merchandise into the hands of consumers.

Across the High Plains, hometown retailers have also been busy. They too have adapted to new ways to sell products whether many miles away or just across town.

Several generations ago a store-bought present was often a supplement to a handmade gift that the crafter took many hours sewing, quilting, building, or carving. Several generations later that handmade gift remained a topic of conversation at Christmas as nostalgia and special memories are shared with younger generations.

The best Christmas presents typically come from the heart regardless of where they are made. This Christmas season as shoppers finalize their lists our wish is that they might visit with their local, community-minded merchant. Retailers in those towns know the period between Black Friday and New Year’s Day is their best opportunity to generate sales that can make it a profitable year.

These retailers are our neighbors who have a vested interest in our communities. They often are the front lines when people are needing contributions to help a needy citizen who has been afflicted by illness or a disaster. They also are employing our neighbors and that keeps children in local schools.

Those commitments remind us of the importance of local relationships. Main Street business owners take many risks. The result is those business operators are thankful for the patronage.

Another option might be to attend an annual Christmas arts and crafts show in which local artisans include 4-H, FFA high school and middle school youth, who add a personal touch not found elsewhere. Those investments in youth are going to pay dividends as they will appreciate the purchase and they will use the proceeds to pay for college. The college experience may take them places that will enrich their life and bring additional perspective that can benefit us all.

The gift that allows any of us to keep learning is one of the best presents and we certainly subscribe to that here. Gift subscriptions are made to HPJ on behalf of farmers and ranchers and special offers are available at

We certainly do not discount the need, or ease, to purchase from big-box retailers or using our fingertips on an app that can bring presents to our home. We just want the spirit and wealth of the season to be spread into our rural communities and the economic multiplier to take hold.

Best wishes on your gift selections as the Christmas season always reminds us of the greatest gift of all—the birth of Jesus Christ.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].