You know how I feel about Christmas presents – practical can be fun. One year, I gave my daughter car insurance for six months; she was so happy she nearly cried. Last year, Santa brought me a case of toilet paper – and a case of anything is always welcome Christmas morning.
Well thought out presents (#191 and #192) can not only be fun to give, but are often used longer and appreciated more than the glitzy-eye-grabbers and over the top have-to-advertise-or-we-would-never-bother-with-it stuff. (Really, who thought up the game where you pick up dog’s poop or make pig’s bellies explode? Oh my goodness!)
Recently, I received an e-mail from a woman who has a similar feeling about Christmas presents, but she takes it a bit further. While I’m suggesting that you give loved ones new tires for Christmas, she is proposing that you look a little closer to home when spending your hard earned money – tires or not.
She suggests that you spend your Christmas money on items or services that will benefit both you and your neighbors or friends. Read what she is proposing:
“What if we all did this? Seriously consider this….
Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition
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 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 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 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 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 games at the local golf course.
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 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.
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 light, 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.
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, 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 is the new American Christmas tradition.
… This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is about?”
So now when you are out shopping and getting ready to “spread your monetary cheer”, you really will be helping someone out there to have a very Merry Christmas.