Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Birthing New Traditions that Make Sense?

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories have been 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 shipped overseas.

This year can be different if we so choose. This year we can give the gift of genuine concern for fellow Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Americans' hands.

Because there is! Although largely service-oriented, some wonderful products are available too!

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

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

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American 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 big bucks on a Chinese made flat-screen TV? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or paid tee times at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion local owner-run restaurants -- and most offer gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint? Remember, this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your hometown fellow Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people wouldn't love an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for Mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

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. Or they make jewelry, or pottery, and beautiful wooden boxes.

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 theater (if there IS one)?

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

Honestly, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a $5 string of lights, only about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy and babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas giving is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city.

Christmas giving is now about 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.

Source: Okay, I admit I stole most of this from an anonymous email, but it rings true for me. Hopefully it will for you too.


  1. Great ideas here! We've gone to the local crafts fairs for years & even tho' there's a lot of cheap imported crap now, there's still folks making things by hand to earn a few extra bucks. We routinely buy hand made soap, crocheted or sewn hot pads, & embroidered dish towels.

    This year we've also picked up hand spun yarn, a lovely dried flower wreath (the flowers were even local), muscle rubs, pillow cases, hand-knit fashion scarf, book bags made from Pendleton blankets, greeting cards, hair bows, a lapis necklace, dyed wool roving, children's headbands, a stoneware cup, glass animal zipper pulls.

    And at the last craftsfair, we met a young man who recycles liquor bottles by cutting them down & filling them w/soy wax for candles. He gets the bottles from our local recycling drop-off, leaves the labels on when he cuts them down & some of them are quite fun. AND he'll refill any used candle jar you bring him. We got his card for sure!

    It's so nice to know you're supporting local folks, probably helping someone on a limited income, keeping the money w/in the community.

  2. Other things to look at that are made in USA:


    Merry Christmas.



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