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The Birth of a New Christmas Tradition

November 12, 2011

I’m writing this special post today to share with you a message that’s going around email in-boxes. It’s long, but well worth sharing. After all, we could do this by supporting our artist friends everywhere. I hope you’ll copy and share this too.

Birth of a New Tradition (Author Unknown)

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.

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 giving gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

What about a membership to an American gym? It’s appropriate for anyone who’s thinking about improving his or her health.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting her car detailed? Small, American-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a book of gift certificates.

Are you an extravagant giver who thinks nothing of plunking down big money on a Chinese-made flat-screen TV? Perhaps that American recipient would also like his lawn mowed for the summer, or his driveway plowed all winter, or a few games of golf at a local course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants, nearly all of which offer gift certificates. But remember: this isn’t about the big national chains. It’s about supporting your fellow Americans in your home town or state, helping them keep their doors open and creating local jobs.

How many people could use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle from a shop run by an American working guy? Here’s the answer: Everyone who drives!

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? She might love the services of a local cleaning lady for a day or two.

Could your friend’s computer use a tune-up? I know you can find a young American who is struggling to get his computer repair business up and running.

Oh, you were looking for something more personal? Local craftspeople spin their own wool and knit it into scarves. There are local artists who make jewelry and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes, and local painters and photographers who create original works of art. You can treat your favorite couple to a weekend at a romantic bed and breakfast right here in America. Buy them tickets to an area playhouse or locally produced ballet. Or hire a local musician to provide a private concert in their home or for their next party.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy that five-dollar string of lights, about fifty cents of it stays in your community. If you have that kind of money to give away, leave your local mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice big tip that they, in turn, will spend in your hometown.

You see, Christmas shopping – and shopping at any other time of the year – need not be about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Let’s make spending choices that show we care about the United States; choices that encourage American small businesses to keep plugging away, keep hiring, and keep contributing to our hometown’s success. When we care about other Americans and turn that caring into action, the benefits will come back to us in ways we can’t even imagine. Choose to make THIS the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this in an email. Re-post it on your blog. Link to it on your Facebook page. Send it to the “Letters to the Editor.” Spread the word any way you can and make this a revolution centered on taking care of each other here in America.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2011 8:40 am

    Awesome!

  2. November 12, 2011 8:58 am

    ahah that’s lovely 😉
    happy christmas!!

  3. November 12, 2011 10:55 am

    I also received this as an email and was struck by the author’s thoughtfulness and good ideas. I’ll do as you ask and share it on my own blog, and I’ll add another suggestion… “buy original art from a local artist”.

  4. November 12, 2011 11:01 am

    oops, i re-read it and found that art is included. my bad.

  5. November 12, 2011 2:47 pm

    Great idea Martha. And if Kiwis always bought ‘New Zealand made” we’d be a thriving economy. There are “Made in NZ” stickers that our businesses can buy and I look for them when I shop as it’s a quick and easy way to know where the product was manufactured.

    • November 13, 2011 4:40 am

      Cath, I wish we had something similar here. Years ago there was a move to “buy American” but the issue isn’t really where, but how it was made, of course. I think the trend is returning. We are trying to buy as much local food as possible too.

      • November 13, 2011 4:42 am

        PS – Also not just how it was made, but how many ships and trucks it took to get it to the buyer.

  6. November 12, 2011 6:40 pm

    Those suggestions are really great! Thank you. Laura

    • November 13, 2011 4:43 am

      Glad you like them, Laura. It’s not on the list, but I also like personal gift certificates for things like one day of baby sitting, etc.

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