Completing your list at home can be done

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 21, 2010

NATCHEZ — Sure, when you are the mayor it’s simply bad form to be caught spending your dollars out of town, but for Jake Middleton shopping at home isn’t something he does to save face.

Take last year’s Christmas shopping list, for example. Natchez had everything the mayor needed.

Since he and his wife Mitzi have been married, the routine is simple. Jake takes care of the guys, and Mitzi handles the girls.

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And since the guys all share the same indulgences — outdoorsy gear — Christmas shopping in Natchez is a cinch, Middleton said.

“We’re pretty easy,” Middleton said. “The bulk of my shopping is at local sporting goods stores,” he said.

Most of the gear Middleton, his 27-year-old son, Wes, and his 33-year-old son-in-law, Bryan Davis, would ever want is located conveniently on either Seargent S. Prentiss Drive or Main Street.

Locals should shop locally to support local businesses and because sales tax makes up approximately 40 percent of the city’s budget, Middleton said.

But Middleton said another good reason to shop in Natchez is simply for the great shopping downtown, at the mall and all over the city.

“If you go downtown, you can find very nice, unique gifts,” he said.

Christmas shopping downtown is also a good way to get involved in what’s going on in the community, and vice versa. Being involved in events downtown provides a great opportunity to pop into a variety of shops, he said.

He said this week’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony and Turkey Trot race should provide an ideal setting to carve out some Christmas-shopping time, for instance.

But last year’s Middleton shopping list included more than just a rifle for his son and a hunting jacket for his daughter’s husband.

Middleton also impressed himself by stepping outside the outdoors box last year and buying Christmas gifts for his daughter Leslie and daughter-in-law Lauren.

After seeking his wife’s approval, Middleton headed to a department store in the mall to purchase clothes steamers for his daughter and daughter-in-law.

This year, thought, the list is longer.

Since Wes and the mayor’s daughter-in-law, Lauren, had a son just over one year ago — a young “guy” has been added to Middleton’s shopping to-do list for the first time in a long time.

The mayor hasn’t planned his purchase yet, but he knows one thing, the gift will be bought locally.