SIDE NOTE: I did NOT write this as an original journal entry. This was sent to me by a good friend and after reading it, it made so much sense, that I felt obligated to share it. I added a bunch of items to it that were my own thoughts and ideas, but the just of it remained the same.
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian 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 should be different. This year Americans should 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. Oh…. Yes there is! It is time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Here are a few ideas to keep your money close to home and keep it in American hands.
Here is a simple plan for a Dawn of a New Tradition that should be the norm.
Everyone – yes, EVERYONE, gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?
Find a local artist, painter, photographer, wood carver, welder or potter and either buy some of their work to give as a gift, or get a gift certificate from them to give as a present.
Everyone loves to have their family portraits taken and most do not do it often enough. Find a local photographer and get a gift certificate for a friend for their family photos to be taken. This is something they’ll cherish for decades, even generations to come. Long after that cheap plastic toy or trinket has been thrown away.
Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement….something we should all be thinking about, especially after the holiday season ends.
Gift certificates as gifts to the local restaurants/pizza joints/bars that are supporting local workers, tax payers and your local community.
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 the Benjamins 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 games at the local golf course.
There are a gazillion owner-run restaurants that are struggling — They are all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended gift recipient 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 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. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes, weld metal sculptures for lawn ornaments or wall hangings. Support your local artists first and foremost with gifts that will be used or looked at on a daily basis.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. This is keeping your hard earned money as close to home as you can!
And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theater. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese 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, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip to thank them for their work.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US (We the People), 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 could not imagine.
THIS is the new American Christmas tradition!! This tradition should also be used for all birthdays, anniversaries, and hopefully it will become the norm when it comes to spending your hard earned money.
Please pass this around. We can make a difference. Can’t we?