Saturday was a miserable day in the valley. The rain was relentless and forced cancellation of some area holiday parades, and pushed other celebrations inside. But the rain did not stop New Market businesses from welcoming the few shoppers who ventured out into that nasty weather for the town’s ‘Tis the Season holiday celebration.

Little shops along Congress Street held open houses that cold, rainy afternoon, offering warm drinks and treats to shivering shoppers. There weren’t many who left their homes that day to shop local, but those who did received a warm hello from those shopkeepers.

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate the next two weekends before Christmas, and local shops will be filled with people looking for gifts to give.

A healthy economy starts at home — remember that the next time you need to shop.

Shopping local keeps your money in your community. Local business owners pay local taxes, and some also purchase locally made products to use in their restaurants and sell in their shops. When you buy from a local business owner, you’re investing in your community and creating local jobs at the same time.

Another thought: local businesses need to be supported throughout the year, especially in the months when fewer tourists visit the area. So support your community by shopping local. Think of it as your gift to your community.