Sunday, November 24, 2013

Birth of a New Tradition

I received an email from Pat Bonish owner of Low-Key Hideaway Motel in Cedar Key, Florida.  This really struck a chord in me...the older I get, the more consumerism I see, makes me sad.  We don't don't need more stuff!

"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. Oh.... Yes there is! It is time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Here are a few ideas to keep your money close to home and keep it in American hands.

Everyone – yes, EVERYONE, gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Find a local artist, painter, photographer, wood carver or potter and either buy some of their work to give as a gift, or get a gift certificate from them to give as a present.

Every family loves to have family portraits taken. Find a local photographer and get a gift certificate for a friend for a sit-down family photo to be taken. This is something they’ll cherish for decades, even generations to come. Long after that cheap plastic toy or trinket has been thrown away.

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Gift certificates as gifts to the local restaurants/pizza joints/bars that are supporting local workers, tax payers and your local community.

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 Benjamins on a Chinese-made flat-screen TV? 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 gazillion 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. Support your local artists first and foremost

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. This is keeping your hard earned money as close to home as you can!

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 build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US (We the People), 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 could not imagine."

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition!!

Please pass this around. We can make a difference. Can't we?