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If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering where on Earth this year has gone?  It seems to have flown by!  We’ve just had Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night is happening very shortly and then it’s full steam ahead to Christmas and New Year.

I can state with some certainty that I won’t have even started the Christmas shopping by the time this column appears, at least it’s highly unlikely.

I’m just not that organized - that and the fact that I like Christmas to be in December.  I will admit I was surprised to see Christmas cards in the shops in August this year, before the children had even gone back to school!

Without wishing to go on about it either, I won’t be buying anything online again this year - that’s my sixth Christmas where I’ve bought all my presents locally.

Apparently, people like me are now labelled ‘ethical consumers’ - I read an article which stated that there’s a new breed of shopper who refuses to buy from online giants because they feel that they are destroying our High Streets, they are concerned about the job losses that inevitably result, and worry where their children and grandchildren will work.

Here in Northamptonshire we lost our Marks and Spencer’s branches in Kettering and Northampton in August this year.  This will therefore be my first Christmas where I haven’t bought cards and presents in my local M&S, which makes me feel quite sad really, as I shopped in the Kettering store all my life. Before it shut, I was chatting to one of the ladies on the till and asked her how long she’d worked there.  She told me that at the end of August she would have celebrated her 40th year with the company, all of it in the Kettering branch.

So before you gaze at your PC, phone or tablet screen and extol the virtues of the oneclick shop experience, please have a think.  If you can, support local businesses in your area by shopping with them instead of online giants who really don’t care where you, your children and/or grandchildren work.

This Christmas, let’s all make an effort to keep it simple, keep it local and support our local High Streets. Thanks for reading, please visit my blog and Northants Telegraph column too. 

Many thanks, Hx

Our Corner of Northamptonshire by Helen Bach  November 2018