Please consider thinking outside the box and, besides the usual presents, how about gifts that aren't necessarily wrapped with big green bows. Who needs another gadget when the gas company is threatening to turn off the power or there isn't enough money to buy food next week?
And secondly, please shop local so our businesses will be there for each of us tomorrow. Camp Verde and the entire Verde Valley offers a gamut of stores, shops and services, so why spend extra gas to drive elsewhere?
Groceries are basic, right? Purchase $25, $50 or $100 gift certificates from your local grocery store. Who couldn't use extra help with escalating food prices?
Bargains prevail galore at our discount and dollar stores and thrift, resale and antique shops. The key is taking your time to really browse and going back more than once.
Do you realize how many wonderful tradesmen, contractors and supporting businesses we have in Camp Verde the Verde Valley? Think about throwing a few dollars toward your grandmother's roof job, furnace or auto repair? Now's a great time to do that landscaping project or kitchen upgrade because contractors and suppliers are hungry; you're likely to benefit from lower bids.
There's always those super sensible gifts - a subscription to a local newspaper, a year of cable service, some techie help with a computer, the charges for a dental cleaning, an eye checkup, tax preparation, a week of daycare, a house or car insurance payment, tuition help for the grandkids, or pet care for a traveling friend?
We all know that Americans have been reluctant savers. Perhaps you might open a bank account for a family member and add funds on birthdays and holidays.
Now is a good time to honor someone in his/her name with a donation to a local charity. We hear that charitable organizations are suffering.
Consider surprising a loved one with a certificate to a wonderful restaurant for fine dining, pizza, hometown cooking, ribs, ethnic or fast-food.
Ever thought about giving entrance fees to Montezuma Castle, Fort Verde, Out of Africa Wildlife Park, Verde Canyon Railroad, Blazin M Ranch, or bowling at Shake, Rattle and Bowl?
Another thoughtful present might be a weekend get-away to a local hotel, B&B or RV park. And offer to babysit the kids.
What about no-nonsense gift cards to a local hardware, electronics store or western wear shop for dad and a health-food, clothing or jewelry store for mom?
Want something a little more upscale? For about $25-$50, you can purchase a nice bottle of Verde Valley wine.
Hopefully some of these ideas will make your shopping easier, lend a monetary hand to a family member or friend while supporting our Camp Verde merchants and service providers.
From all of us at the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce, we wish you and yours a joyous and financially healthy holiday season.
Tracie Schimikowsky is president/CEO of the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce.