CHRISTMAS 2011 – BIRTH OF A NEW SHOPPING TRADITION?
As the holidays approach, the giant foreign factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods.
This year can be different. This year Americans can give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no excuse at gift giving time that nothing can be found produced by American hands. Yes there is!
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?
How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber? A gym membership or sessions with a personal trainer are appropriate for anyone thinking about 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 the Benjamin’s on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps the grateful gift receiver would like their driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or rounds at the local golf course.
There are many owner-operated 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, or a gift card from a local coffee shop. Remember 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 could 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 service for a day. .
Maybe you are looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and make scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes. Local artists and framing shops can help you find or create a unique gift that will be treasured for many years and not discarded after a season.
Plan your holiday outings at locally-owned restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. Support your local grocery store by shopping there for your Holiday feast. How about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre? or a local musician?
Do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights almost nothing stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
Shopping local for Christmas is about encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. When we support local small businesses we show support for our communities and the benefits come back to us in ways we can’t imagine!