Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

I seem to be on some kind of patriotic jag this week, so in the spirit, here is something new.  Most of it was gleaned from an interesting email I received recently, but it makes sense, so I cleaned it up some and I am passing it on.

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 we have the opportunity to do something quite different. This Christmas Americans can 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.

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 your hard earned dead president’s (cash) 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.

Speaking for myself, I sure would, sign me up!

There are a host of 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 desperately trying to keep their doors open.  It is time, high time, to bring the business “back” to the places that will do us the most good, Hometown America … or as they say here … The Heartland.

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

a tad bit more personal. 

Gotcha.

Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.  I have a local craftsman right now, that is building me two jewelry boxes, one for the wife and one for the grand-daughter.  You could do the same.  Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice generous tip.  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 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 should no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city.

So besides celebrating your Religious Holiday as you have done for most of your life, you have a new deal this year.  Worship the baby and then do something good for your country.  Christmas is now (starting today) about caring about your country, The United States.  It is time to start 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 year make THIS the new

American Christmas tradition.

Do a copy-cut-paste on this and then 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.  Take a small piece of plastic shaped in the image of piece of fruit (something like a banana) and stick it on your refrigerator just to remind you every now and then!

And remember … This is a movement of caring about and for each other, isn’t that what Christmas is about?  The really neat thing about this is you don’t have to drive to Wall Street to spread the message and in the end … when they tally the numbers … they will have received the message.  All you have to do is make a conscious decision to spend your money here at home.

Like Staples is fond of saying  … That was Easy.*

OOO

* Kudo’s to Jimmy Wo for the article idea and email.