The Value in Shopping Local This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is now a memory and you’ve survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so now there’s time to factor doing business locally into your holiday plans. I’ve been driving around downtown Bryan this week, and there are some special scenes of hometown Bryan I’d like to share with you. The Brazos Valley has so many wonderful small businesses. And lots of them are in downtown Bryan! Notice the lovely City of Bryan ornament right in front of the Carnegie Library.

Although we celebrated Small Business Saturday last month, that’s just one day. Our community is fortunate to have many family-owned businesses here, whose success is determined by our patronage. It does matter where you shop, particularly when the money you spend here essentially stays here.

Local business owners live and spend here. We’re people you know who are involved in many local service and community organizations. We support the Chamber of Commerce, we wear aprons for 50 Men Who Can Cook, we coach children’s sports teams, we’re happy to work with you to afford the products we sell.

We own hair salons, some of your favorite restaurants, complete with homemade recipes collected for generations, and yes, we also own funeral homes here as well.

Although we value and appreciate every national business who locates here, employing residents, providing health care opportunities and supporting our community, our hearts are filled with appreciation of small business owners, whose devotion to the Brazos Valley is seen, year-round, as they’re always here for us.

Are you coming to see the Lighted Christmas Parade? Join everyone downtown on Friday. The fun starts at 6:30 pm, so come on down after work, park for free in the garage and get a good place staked out to see the parade!

Our holiday season is filled with the joy of children’s faces when they see Christmas trees, bright lights, and when they hear music, anticipating the approach of jingle bells and Santa’s sleigh—their faces shine.

Someone in your house want drums for Christmas? Visit the String and Horn Shop in Downtown Bryan and then run over to Parker Astin for earplugs for you and the rest of the family. It takes practice, practice, practice, to be a rock star.

In Downtown, whether it’s Bryan, Navasota, Brenham, or Madisonville, the sentiment of old town Texas squares and main streets find holiday banners on light poles, decorations on every storefront window, and a feeling of seasonal joy fills the air.


Papa Perez is all ready for the parade!

Casa Rod is always ready for the holidays with recipes of red and green chilis!

Window art and holiday greenery on light poles remind me of growing up here and how much fun it was to see what everyone had done to decorate.

There’s art to see and buy at the Village & 979 Art Gallery. Enjoy wine at Downtown Uncorked and then jump over to RX Pizza for trivia night!

Now if you want your tree to look absolutely gorgeous, head over to Bryan Street, 202 to be exact, and check out Old Bryan Marketplace. Kay and Grant Conlee always go to market to find the most elegant, gorgeous (and very affordable) decorations and they even decorate trees to show you how to do it, then they stock up on the items that you can take home to do it yourself! (Photo shared from Old Bryan Marketplace FB page)

Now, if you need some items for your office Christmas party, go see the adorable shelves filled with brilliant and clever items at 3rd on Main.

We didn’t write the clever gift tag items, but if the tag fits….you’ve got to get one, or two, because you know exactly who needs it!

Those coffee mugs are a must-have!

Now, have you been to EarthArt yet? You haven’t? They have wonderful one-of-a-kind rocks and crystals perfect for desk tops or countertops, fun, affordable gemstone rings and thoughtful figurines and unique gifts for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list. (Photos from EarthArt Facebook page).





Did you happen to see all the 40-something vendors on our town’s West Side on Tuesday? It was the annual “The Local” Lake Walk Christmas Market! If you missed it this year, mark it on your calendar for next year for sure!

There are so many reasons to spend your holiday gift funds right here in town. Your actions have direct consequences in keeping Bryan and College Station vital and dynamic communities with a wealth of talented businesspeople who can continue to expand and flourish, with your support.

As one family-owned business: to you and your families, thank you for your continued confidence and faith in us. As always, we are here for you.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa. May peace and love be yours this holiday season. And don’t forget to Shop Local!

Cody D. Jones