Winterset is a wonderful place, and this is an especially appropriate time to be reminded of the power we have to preserve our prosperous, historic and unique community. How do we do this? It’s simple: Patronize local businesses.
My father was a small-town community banker in northwest Missouri. When I was younger, I remember a particular admonishment my mother received in the early-1980s when she marched in the house carrying sacks of goodies from Wal-Mart. My father said, “What are you doing? You can’t shop there! Go uptown and get Christmas presents from the merchants around the square!” I’ll never forget it. For a kid who thought a trip to Wal-Mart was kind of fun, it opened my eyes.
In the past, I have enjoyed going to larger markets, malls and other towns to shop. Sometimes I’ve appreciated the convenience of online shopping. But certainly since I have taken on the role of executive director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, it’s been particularly important to me to do as much of my shopping as possible here in my own community.
It’s easy to walk in The Gap and buy sweaters in assorted sizes and colors for family members. But wouldn’t a wine tasting, knitting or art class make a memorable gift for your aunt or sister? There are businesses here in Winterset ready to help you with that. How about a carpet cleaning certificate for your mom who’s hosting the family for Christmas dinner? There’s a great carpet cleaning service right here in Winterset. The Winterset Stage has announced its line-up of entertainment for the coming year. How about purchasing tickets for your best friend and yourself and make some memories together?
We have artistic florists, creative T-shirt and apparel designers, and talented photographers who would love to take your inspiration and turn it into a personalized gift. Do you have relatives visiting from far-away places? A gift representative of Madison County is perfect. The John Wayne Birthplace carries unique items with images of “The Duke,” and our Welcome Center is full of covered bridge-themed gifts. And a shopping trip into the beautifully-decorated stores around our picturesque town square is just plain fun. They are chock-full of gifts for everyone on your Christmas list.
Don’t forget our area wineries. Who wouldn’t love a bottle (or case) of an award-winning red or white from Covered Bridges Winery, Madison County Winery or Two Saints Winery produced from grapes grown right here in Madison County. Our bakeries and restaurants churning out daily deliciousness offer gift certificates that make a visit to Winterset fun and memorable.
Wow, friends — we’ve got it all. What if everyone did all of his or her holiday shopping in Winterset this year? Imagine the impact that would have, and the message that would send.