I would like to offer a couple of suggestions this holiday season that I believe will benefit all the residents of Sedona and the surrounding areas.

Consider thinking outside the big box stores and purchase most of your gifts from one of our many unique shops right here in the community of Sedona.

Our local business owners have really expanded the opportunities to enable you to find that much sought after gift for your Christmas giving. This can be done in the comfort of your own hometown and save many dollars of fuel costs.

The Sedona Chamber of Commerce has also expanded your shopping experience with their current Shop Sedona campaign. You can visit their website at ShopSedona.com to find bargains throughout the Sedona area.

Secondly, expand your shopping to include stores in the Verde Valley. By supporting these businesses today, they will be there for each of us tomorrow. Cottonwood and the entire Verde Valley offers a gamut of stores, shops and services, so why spend extra gas to drive elsewhere?

You can also purchase gift cards from any of our major grocery stores. Purchase $25, $50 or $100 gift certificates from Bashas, Safeway and Weber’s IGA. Who couldn’t use extra help with food prices that are constantly on the rise?

There’s always sensible gifts — a subscription to the Sedona Red Rock News is a good place to start. Think of the many trips you could avoid if you had your major local news source delivered to your home twice a week.

You could also provide many other sensible ideas to help each other out. Some of the ideas include: cable TV service, day care, a house or car insurance payment, tuition help for the grandchildren, or pet care for a traveling friend.

You could also open a bank savings account for a family member and add funds further on down the road.

Consider surprising a loved one with a gift certificate to one of our wonderful restaurants in Sedona. Most of them offer coupons for fine dining, pizza, ribs, or your favorite ethnic food.

Hopefully some of these ideas will make your shopping much more enjoyable and easier.

Remember, for every dollar your spend in our community, it turns into seven dollars as it moves through our local economy. All those dollars combined can have the added benefit of generating sales tax revenue that will help our cities do the various things we desire to have in making all of our lives happier.

As we continue to enjoy the quality of life here in Sedona, keep in mind that by shopping locally, you are providing help to all the residents of this wonderful community.