Shop closer to home

On Monday, did your children or grandchildren get to tell a virtual Santa Claus what they want for Christmas?

Did you try to guess how the magician you watched on your smartphone made the rabbit disappear?

And, how about that ice skating app?

Pardon our sarcasm, please. It is aimed, if you hadn’t guessed, at the big “cyber Monday” online shopping day.

Lots of people seem to have become hooked on doing their Christmas shopping through internet stores. That is a shame, for more reasons than one.

First, as we pointed out a few days ago, online merchants do not support worthy causes in our communities, pay taxes to keep schools open, or provide jobs for local people.

But there is much more they do not offer.

Much of it was on display Friday and Saturday, during the WinterFest celebration in downtown Martins Ferry. Project Forward, a committee formed to revitalize the city’s business district in the wake of a disastrous fire, organized the event. Good for them.

Santa Claus was there to talk with the children. Those 10 and under could compete in a “Jingle Bell Run.” A magician performed. So did three popular musical acts. Even ice skating was available, on a synthetic rink. And there were several other activities.

None of them was available to “cyber Monday” shoppers.

Individually and through group endeavors, many local stores provide similar events throughout the holiday season. They are reminders that, if we just let it happen, Christmas shopping can be fun.

They are one more reason why you ought to try doing your gift shopping in local stores, rather than from your easy chair, via the internet.

You may be surprised at how much you enjoy doing it the old-fashioned way.