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I know you can’t tell it by the weather, but it is almost Christmas. Parades, a chili cook off and sales have announced it. That last one is my favorite. I absolutely love a great sale. Sales at Christmas time are the best because there is so much shopping to do.

However, I am a Christmas shopper procrastinator. Therefore, it wasn’t until this past weekend that I actually went through my Christmas list. Many names are not marked off. Worse, I don’t have a clue what to get them. They are the folks who have it if they want it and don’t want it if they don’t have it. You know the ones - they aren’t real impressed with off the rack, no thought, "could have bought it myself" presents. It really makes gift giving more stressful than it needs to be.

Unless you do your Christmas shopping in Bryan County.

Think about it - there are some great reasons to buy Bryan.

If you’re concerned about the environment, you’ve saved gas. Gas that is almost $3 a gallon if you’re on a budget. If neither of these things factor into your shopping plans and you just love a drive, you can do that too. Take a trip to the other side of the county. I already know how often the two ends of the county do not cross-pollinate. However, you should. If you haven’t been to the other side in a while, I think you will be happy with the new stuff you will find.

Local retail businesses pride themselves on niches. There are things in the local shops that you are not going to be able to find anywhere else. Some of it is made local. Some of it is original. Some of it finds its way into the local shops through special purchases and affiliations. However it gets here, you can bet you won’t find it in many other places.

Since you won’t find it many other places, these gifts are perfect for those on your list that live out of town. You will find some of the best barbeque sauces, handmade jewelry, fine art, and a variety of other great gift ideas made right here in Bryan County. When that shows up with a bow on it, you can bet it’ll be the only one. You can also count on the "story behind the gift" being a hit.

Local folks like getting gifts from local places too. Stylish boutiques, fishing expeditions and custom golf carts are a few of the things you can find. Worried about picking the wrong thing? A gift card will do. Most establishments are doing those. You can get massages for stressed out friends, nice dinners for co-workers and bottles of wine for holiday party hosts.

If giving a great gift isn’t enough to convince you that buying Bryan is a good idea, then let me appeal to your need for a better shopping experience and civic responsibility. Go ahead and shop somewhere else. The folks won’t know you, the service will probably not be as good, the product will not have the same appeal, and the money will have left your community. Better luck next year.

Why go through all that? Buy Bryan. I am betting you’ll love it.

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