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Opportunities and blessings

By Betty J. Ramsey

As we approach a holiday season that for most, if not all, of us will look different this year I am mindful that along with challenges come opportunities and blessings. Most importantly we have the power to choose what we will focus on this season. We can choose to focus on the trials at hand and before us or we can choose to focus on the opportunities and blessings. The choice is ours to make.

For the first time ever, my husband and I celebrated Thanksgiving Day alone. To be quite frank I never saw that one coming. Family and time spent with family, especially on holidays has always been a given. So, we are faced with a choice — wallow in the sadness of not having a big family gathering this year or look for the opportunities and blessings that are surely there.

Counting my blessings, I am thankful that we are all, for the most part, relatively well. We are fortunate to have a roof our heads, food in the pantry and heat to keep us warm. We are blessed that we can pick up our smartphones and use one of the many applications available such as Google Meet, Zoom and Facetime to call and actually see our loved ones in real time. Something that just a few short years ago would not have been possible.

Opportunities abound this holiday season — help someone that is less fortunate by donating to one of the many food drives, coat drives, churches or organizations that help those in need.

When considering gifts take the very real opportunity to help your community by shopping local. Small businesses, the backbone of our community, have been hit especially hard this year. We have the opportunity to help a small business and our community at the same time by shopping here at home.

When we spend money at the local bakery or dress shop a lot of that money is used to purchase from other local businesses and so on and so on. Shopping local creates a domino effect that helps to support our community. Studies have shown that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 stays in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the city’s tax base. For every $100 spent at a national chain or franchise store, only $14 remains in the community.

Make a commitment to shop local on a regular basis. It’s good for you, your neighbor and your community. Do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Betty J. Ramsey is the publisher of Windsor Weekly. Her email address is Betty.Ramsey@TheTidewaterNews.com.