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, there is nothing to 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 box, wrapped in Chinese-produced wrapping paper? Think about these ideas instead:
- Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?
- Gym membership. It’s appropriate for those of all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
- Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally-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?
- 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 neighbors 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.
- Okay, you were looking for something more personal. Think about your local artists and crafts people . . . paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry, pottery, handmade sweaters and scarves.
- 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.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can increase our indebtedness to it. Christmas now means 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.
How else can you help?
- Forward this to everyone on your mailing list
- Post it to discussion groups
- Throw up a post on Craigslist in the “Rants & Raves” section in your city (GOOD one!)
- Send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments This is a revolution of caring about each other. Isn’t that what Christmas is about?
P.S. This plan works for birthdays, anniversaries and any other gift giving occasion.