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.

10 thoughts on “Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

  1. For more than a decade of Christmas holidays, I have been decorating homemade sugar cookies and delivering them to all sorts of people. From service folks like the mail man, trash pickup guys, barber, dog groomers and vet, to elderly neighbors, co-workers, family and friends… people who I appreciate all year long. My greatest compliment was from a little old man who looked at his box of cookies and said (with misty eyes), “Oh my goodness, honey, these are just too perty to eat”. It makes that week of crazy baking and decorating well worth it!

    I loved this post… I hope it hits home and people use their noggins this year. It is about being cognizant and taking part in turning things around in this great country!
    ===========================
    Do a cut and paste on it and pass it around. Your story about the old man was a nice touch, it is always better to help someone else. Never forget the hand that helps you up … or the boot that shows you the door.

    Choice is yours eh?

    DS

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  2. I agree that this Christmas will be geared toward Made In America! The small business machine needs the help to put America back to work!
    ======================
    Just takes a few people to start it up and then keep it going, we can do this thing. I have been following your travel blog Paul you are almost there (http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/).

    Old hoopie has been doing a super job. I usually have more problems getting out of the driveway than you have had on your entire trip! Believe we are shut down until spring, days are shorter and winter time is in the air, kinda like what you have up there.

    Thanks for your comment.

    DS

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  3. Thanks for the Kudos. It seems like a good idea to me. Supporting local businesses is a good idea year round. Not only would this plan deprive China of billions of dollars, but it would kick start the economy here. Remember, the job you save may be your own.
    ===========================
    America is such a novel experiment in Democracy and despite it all, a great country to live in (and I have been around enough to know). We can turn this thing around, it is possible.

    DS

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  4. Okay, I never posted a Craigslist ad before . . . not as easy as I planned, but worth it. So, its posted in Seattle. I hope it goes viral!
    ==============================
    Most importantly, let us hope that it affects a change. I would not even know how to do it myself, thanks.

    DS

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  5. I received this same email and forwarded it around. Here in Bermuda, we tend to do most of our shopping abroad….or at least a large part of it. That usually means the USA but then we also tend to buy same products from China etc. So Bermuda businesses are hurting lots too. Now our government has upped our import duty from 25% to 35%, hoping people will instead, “Buy Bermuda”. THEN a week or two after that announcement is made, we all receive in the mail FROM OUR GOVERNMENT, a brochure about shipping products home to pay less than the 35% duty. It goes on and on how we can save with our overseas shopping by mailing and couriering home such gifts. Then in VERY SMALL fine fine print, it says “Oh try to buy Bermuda if you can”
    OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for another terrific post.
    Helen
    ==================================
    Often it resembles some form of mental illness, or a circus of crazy clowns. I get so frustrated just trying to do anything these days, much like you have described, almost to the point of being a dog chasing its own tail.

    But you gotta try … One of these days they will tax your air … hold your breath girl.

    DS

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  6. Email response from Jon in Kentucky: (Some of the content was edited for brevity)

    Short term you have offered a great way to boost domestic businesses. Great idea. However, do not fall into the trap thinking somehow we as a nation are going to reverse the trend to buy Chinese or other foreign goods.

    Here’s my point. We can compete with foreign competitors. But we need to do several things as a nation. First, most companies have to abandon the business model that jams the production workers into slots, and instead they have to be part of the production process. It is insane for me to tell a welder or machine operator how to do their job. All I need to do is make them understand our productivity objectives and let the employees figure out how to get there.

    We need to make it uncomfortable for the “managers” who come up with the brilliant ideas to go offshore with their production or purchases by making domestic production easier. Relax the regulations, demand offshore producers have to certify they meet the exact same laws, regulations and standards as our domestic suppliers such as OSHA, EPA, workers comp, etc.  
    We need to educate the US population to understand they ARE the problem. They will drive 5 miles to buy T shirts and underpants at WalMart because they are $.50 less than the local clothier. They bitch about the lack of jobs, but will trip all over themselves to save a dollar.

    They could save that dollar by forcing WalMart to buy domestically simply by not buying goods made offshore. Let WalMart beat up domestic suppliers to get them to learn how to be productive.

    Sorry for the rant, but it hacks me off because I know we can win and be competitive, but I now see us losing the ability to keep pace with technology. Right now we cannot produce the fancy phones, i pads, Kindles, and other products because we no longer possess the technology.

    As you have stated … It is time for us to wake up.
    ================================
    Thanks for your comment Jon, you make some valid points and we appreciate your viewpoint. It appears that it is well on its way to getting out there now, and that is good news.

    Now if we can just lead the horse to the water ….

    Thanks for your reply,

    DS

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  7. Thank you for taking the time to post this on the THS Alumni Site, We all need a strong kick in the concience these days. Sometimes taking the easy way out just becomes a habit. It doesn’t take a minute to read the labels and see where these products come from.
    Anyway it is great hearing from you again.
    Bama Gramma
    ==============================
    Alabama Slamma! … how’s my girl? Long time no hear from I trust you are doing well. That place is deader than a door nail, but I thought about it and decided it wouldn’t take but a minute to post a little summary and a link, if they want it, it is there for the taking. That kind of thing.

    You take care,

    DS

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  8. If you are looking for Christmas goods made in Amercia, I’ve found this site to be really helpful!

    www.********.com

    Jane
    ==========================
    It is not our policy to endorse webpages or websites that promote business in nature.

    Sorry.

    Thanks for stoppin by.

    DS

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  9. Last year I committed to buying 80% of my Xmas presents locally, and I actually exceeded that goal. The only exception was the Made in China toy I bought my niece. Come on…I’m not going to disappoint a 7 year old with a lecture about national pride. In any case, it was the most fun shopping season I’ve ever had for this consumer holiday. I met local artisans and craft people. Was forced into putting a lot more thought into each and every gift. And, saw the pleasure everyone experienced when they opened a gift that was truly unique and one of a kind.

    I also have found the local restaurant/service provider gift certificate a great idea for the grandparents. I mean, at this point, they pretty much have everything they need. And, my grandmother jokes that we should always remember when shopping for her that whatever we’re buying we’ll likely end up having to deal with sooner than later. They love getting certs to their favorite breakfast or lunch spot.

    My plan and goal are the same this year. I’m actually looking forward to the adventure of shopping for my loved ones instead of dreading it. Great post…cheers!
    =============================
    Hey great comment there Hunner, glad that you stopped by today, and hope that you have a great weekend. You certainly are into the spirit of it all and have some good ideas. My grandparents are long gone, but I would give anything to take them out for some fried chicken or a steak. Enjoy yours while you can.

    DS

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  10. Hey, I love the emails I get…and this one is a good one. Thanks for sharing!
    =============================
    Most of the time our email traffic is just fine, every now and then it heats up. I have already seen this piece come back to me in the form of an email, came today. So it is making the rounds.

    Thanks for your comment.

    DS

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