Our View: Dont Be A Turkey, Buy Local


Last week we laid the gravy on pretty thick describing the importance of giving to local charities and causes, especially in this economy.

This week were basting you with another juicy way to aid Alexandrias economy before the Thanksgiving metaphors become irrelevant and nonsensical (too late?): Buy locally-produced goods from locally-owned shops this shopping season whenever possible.

There is the historical spirit of Thanksgiving (pilgrims supposedly breaking bread with our countrys original inhabitants in Plymouth, Mass., in 1621, though some scholars believe the first feast actually took place two years earlier, right here in Virginia, and others believe it never took place at all) that carries religious undertones.

And then theres what Thanksgiving has become Turkey Day, if you will, dedicated to family, friends, food and, notoriously, shopping.

The general spirit of thankfulness around Turkey Day has not escaped our national or local consciousness. It is still a time when families and friends unite, thankful for one another despite grandmas untactful comments about her daughter-in-laws misshapen haircut; despite the smelly, cowlicked little brother who breaks at least one piece of the expensive china each year before passing out on the living room rug, snoring from a tryptophan-induced coma. Whatever the dysfunctional tendencies of a family, around this time every year, Alexandrians thank each other and count our blessings for having whatever we do, however much or little.

Our citys economy is a little dysfunctional right now. Our small businesses, the backbone of our economy, are struggling. In a nuclear family, financial trouble is nothing to be ashamed of; ideally, the family gets by with the help from one another, maybe some friends.

Look at the citys economic issues as macrocosm of your own family. Its understandable not to spend a lot of money this holiday season, but if and when you do spend the dough, spend it here in the city. Its full of small, locally owned shops where the gifts are unique and the owners are your neighbors. If residents flock to the local shops it will go a long way towards rejuvenating our local economy.

As a whole, the Commonwealths financial situation is in worse shape, relatively, than our own Potomac enclave. Why not buy your Thanksgiving grub (or all grub, for that matter) from local stores or Virginia farms? Farmers markets around the city have mostly local produce far fresher than canned cranberries. There are specialty meat and game stores to take advantage of, too.

The more money you spend here the more stays here, whether in an economic crisis or not. Having that knowledge in our collective consciousness will support our community at a time of a wobbly economy.The basting is done, but the turkey aint cooked yet. Its not too late to support your local economy and gobble up some goods. Lets eat.