As the Christmas & Chanuka holidays approach (& other gift giving events), 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 jobs. This year let’s make a difference. This year, why don’t we Americans 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! Join me this Christmas 2011 —For the Birth of a New Tradition It’s time to think outside the box, people. 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 +/or nail salon or barber? Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement. How about a massage? I would love that! Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail businesses and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
What teenager wouldn’t like a few certificates to the local pizzeria? Does someone on your list want to learn how to play golf…tennis…horseback riding…sailing?? Think lessons. Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamin’s on a Chinese 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 rounds at the local golf course, or gifts from the gardening center. There are a bazillion Local 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. Its about supporting your community and creating jobs! 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. How about a few hours from a local handyman? 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. Go to the Arts & Crafts & Street Fairs & Farmers Markets. 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 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. Donate to your church, feed the homeless, or start any other tradition of giving during Christmas, but let’s keep it going throughout the entire year for we are blessed. You see, Christmas gift giving is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is about being with your loved ones and giving and sharing memories. To others it’s a special time of year to give back and create warmth for those who do not have. In my house, Christmas is to celebrate the birth and life of Jesus Christ, and we share stories and spend time and sing carols. No matter what your family traditions and reasons for Christmas are, let’s start a new one together that cares about the US, to encourage American small businesses to keep plugging away and working with their hands to support their families. 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. Let’s make THIS the new American Christmas tradition. Please forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it to discussion groups — throw up 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. Have a Merry Christmas and make this tradition last all year long, God bless..