It is a note we hit quite often here in the pages of The Walton Tribune, but the tune is worth repeating, again and again: the importance of buying from locally-owned stores and supporting our native businesses.

It’s an especially vital topic this time of year, as Christmas shopping gears up for the final rush toward the big day and gifts start flying off the shelves.

Monroe has made the prospect much easier again this year with the return of its seasonal Candlelight Shopping event, which kicked off this past Thursday, to draw people downtown to check out our local stores and find gift ideas outside of the big box stores and online clearinghouses.

Those businesses will be open again this Thursday as the Monroe Christmas Parade marches through town, but even after that, there are two more Candlelight Shopping nights between now and Christmas, scheduled on Dec. 13 and 20.

We encourage everyone to come downtown to enjoy the shops, which will be open late into the evening as part of the event, as well as take in events such as pictures with Santa Claus and sleigh rides around town.

Christmas, after all, is a time for people to draw together and reforge the links of community, and what better time or place to do that than in the center of the Monroe community, amidst other shoppers in downtown’s best shops and eateries?

Candlelight Shopping is one of many delightful events to come this month and we hope to see many of you out and about this holiday season.

Merry Christmas and let the shopping commence!

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