Christmas 2011 - The Birth of a New Tradition

I was forwarded this in an email and I really liked it.   I think there are a lot of countries, not just USA, that would benefit from a little more local money staying local.

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition:
As the holidays approach, the giant foreign factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in foreign produced wrapping paper? Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a
foreign made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.  How about gift certificates to the local supermarkets for groceries.  How about tickets to the neighborhood movie house. 

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big national chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by a local working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day, or a month, or the year!   Don't forget Mom's favorite hairdresser!

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes, framed artwork and sculpture.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, use it to "light up" the faces of your mailman, trash guy or babysitter by giving them a nice BIG tip.
Support local resale shops.  Even if it was foreign made now 100% stays local and you are is recycling too.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that foreign factories can build another glittering yet empty city for "show". Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.
THIS should be the new American Christmas tradition. Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion groups -- throw a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?
                                       Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Peace be with you,

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I love this post! Thanks for the insights, which are shared wholeheartedly. While I haven't expressed it in so many words I have felt the need for a more personal, less commercialized Christmas. Maybe that has been affected by our own struggles, but nonetheless! You offered some great ideas for alternative gifts. I would love to link to this post on my blog. What do you think? I'm a new follower and can't wait to see what you are up to!

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