Christmas with the Erismans

Christmas with the Erismans

By Kathleen Swift • Photos by Artistic Expressions Photography It’s that time of year when we dig out our Christmas mugs, find our favorite mittens and bring the Christmas decorations out from the closets and attic. Gwen Erisman, part owner of Belle Maison, a...

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One Moment – A Changed Life

One Moment – A Changed Life

By Kathleen Swift For McDonald County High School senior Levi Neale, hitting a deer on his way to school changed his life. When Levi hit the deer that October morning in 2020, he also hit his head during the impact, and he hit it hard. Levi noticed something wasn’t...

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Wishing you an Electric Christmas

Wishing you an Electric Christmas

The holidays are upon us and with them brings an abundance of traditional festivities. From seasonal foods and treats to decorations and special activities, this time of year is full of opportunities to experience the spirit of the season. Holiday music is one simple...

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!Editor’s Letter

Christmas Blessings of Shopping Local

The holiday season brings parties, gatherings, trips and special occasions. It is a magical time of year. We are surrounded by friends and family, engaged in endless social commitments and often reminded of the true meaning of the season. This year, as we make our lists of gratitude and give back to all those who have given to us, let’s remember the importance of shopping local. With access to so much at our fingertips, shopping local is more important than ever! 

Small businesses are vital for economic growth and recovery. Small businesses employ local people and tailor their services and products to what is needed in the community. Small businesses support local not-for-profits, sporting events and people who live right here at home. Shopping local makes a difference. I am going to give you reasons why shopping local is right for you this holiday season.

Unique, One-of-a kind Gifts –

Whether for your grandfather or your friend at work, small businesses have gifts that are as unique as the person on your shopping list. The feeling of a one-of-a-kind exclusive item, not seen in large department stores, makes the recipient feel just as special as the gift they just received. Shopping local helps capture the real sentiment of the season.  

Best Customer Service –

As soon as you walk through the door, you are greeted by someone who understands and values your visit. You are more than a number, you are part of their success. Shopping local helps support someone’s dream, makes an impact and, in return, you are treated with great attention and care.  

Less Stressful

– Fighting crowds in large department stores can often take the fun out of the shopping experience. From finding a parking spot to asking for assistance, shopping local simplifies the logistics and exemplifies the experience of giving. Shopping local allows you to cherish the purchase just as much as the delivery of the gift!

Endless Opportunities

– Whether it is handmade pottery or gift cards, anything is possible. Gifts could include traditional items including hand-built wall décor or hand-painted dishes. Gifts could include an experience at a locally owned restaurant, an afternoon of pampering at a salon or a shopping trip to a local boutique. Gifts could include needed services from one of our many great service providers, including a house cleaning or small project. When shopping local, you are met with business owners who are committed to making a wish a reality.

Shopping local allows small business owners to follow their dreams. As a small business owner, I know the gift of support from readers and other small business owners in shopping local. Thank you for the gift you have given me.

Merry Christmas! I hope all your dreams and wishes come true this holiday season!



Lee Radcliff


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