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The Christmas season is upon us.
The Christmas lights are up in Chiefland.
A radio station is playing Christmas music.
A local store is having a “Christmas Sale 40% to 50% off”
I don't care if if it's a discounted holiday or merchandise.
I'm a sucker for stuff at a nice discount.
My wish list is the same as last year's. I want that “Five-Pound Box of Money” singer Pearl Bailey rhapsodizes. She tells Santa it would be useful and is loaded with lots of sentiment.
She trills that money isn't everything but it is much better with it than without it.
My wish is that you first seek to spend whatever cash you have in Levy County this Christmas.
We all want things that can be obtained in Gainesville and Ocala and other bigger towns.
But at the same time we end up pumping up their economy and their government's bag of goodies while back here in Levy we have 12.1 percent unemployment, rutted roads leading to our parks and dairies, unpaved roads that keep our ambulances from getting to the house in time to treat a dying person, schools that have to lure you to pie auctions to educate our children.
Consider that when you buy gifts, holiday clothing, fill the tank, eat out, and pay those sales taxes.
It's one of the first lessons you learn in economics: a dollar spent recirculates where it is spent.
Spend it in those other cities, it stays there. Spend it online, it's down a dark hole. Spend it with a big corporation that does not employ people here, does not make the item here, does not buy its supplies here and you can kiss that money goodbye.
This might take some adjusting in our wish lists.
It will take a change in the attitude that if it's in Chiefland or Levy it is not as good as elsewhere.
I talked to a car guy last week who wondered why people buy the cars he can sell them in Gainesville.
I see his point. I saw some cute earrings in Gatortown that I wanted for my birthday. Never got 'em.
Instead I walked into a Chiefland store, bought something quite similar and they look adorable.
And when I buy a chair for my honey bunny, I'm getting a lot more than a chair that I would at the recliner store in Gainesville.
The chair is made from a Levy tree and the property owner had to spend money to grow it.
The tree was cut by a local logger. He had to buy equipment.
The tree was hauled by a truck driven by a local owner. He had to buy fuel and repair it.
The tree went to a sawmill. Locals planked it.
The craftsman bought the planks and made the chair using tools, equipment and supplies.
The $100 was earned in Levy County from the only newspaper printer in Levy County.
That money came from advertisers and readers in Levy County.
And it's going to at least five Levy County people.
They in turn likely pay other Levy County people for goods and services.
When you think about it shop local and spend local is the Christmas gift we can all give.
Lou Elliott Jones is editor of the Chiefland Citizen and can be reached at 493-4796 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org