It may only be October, but we hope there's a holiday spirit brewing - and not a scary Halloween spirit, either.
Admittedly, our area merchants are a little frightened that a weak holiday season may mean the end for some of them and their neighbors. So we need to pitch in now and let them know that we want them here for the long run, and to do that means we need to Shop Local.
While our chambers and the Del Mar Village Association gear up for holiday events like Holiday Wonderland and tree lightings, it's not too early to think about supporting our merchants and restaurant owners.
When you take the young ones trick or treating for those free goodies in the shops, buy a small surprise for a friend or a book for your child.
Book those holiday parties now, even if your budget is a little smaller than in the past.
Get a head start on your gift list.
Our friends who own businesses are also our neighbors. They live in our neighborhoods and play an important role in the health of our communities: The sales taxes stay where you pay them and help pay for local services.
The decorations and holiday lights and goodies you find in local boutiques are part of the merchants' holiday spirit they're sharing with you. Now share with them.
And don't wait until the day after Thanksgiving. Give them an early start on what for many is the time of the year that makes or breaks their business.