Birth of a New Holiday Tradition-Buy Locally

As the holidays approach, the giant foreign factories have kicked into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of their produced goods... merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. Wouldn't it be great if this year were different? This year, Americans could start a new tradition by giving the gift of genuine concern for other Americans by buying locally to support your communities. There is no longer an excuse at gift giving time that nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes! Yes, there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people! Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in mass produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber? Or a maniure, pedicure, facial, or massage for someone you love?

Have you ever thought about buying a piece of artwork from a local artist? What about contracting with a local handy man or carpenter to complete something on the "honey-do" list for someone you care about? Or a gift certificate from a local mom & pop store? 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 for their services.

Are you one of those extravagant Holiday givers who think nothing of plunking down the bucks on electronics that are produced outside of this country? Perhaps your grateful gift recipient would like his/her driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course or local ski resort?

There are a zillion locally owned and operated restaurants that offer 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 hometown friends, neighbors and Americans who have their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open and survive these economic times.

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, week, month, monthly, decide!

My computer could use a tune-up, and I know and you know that we can find some young guy or gal that is struggling to get their computer repair business up and running.

OK, you say you were thinking of something more personal. Did you know that local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves? They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes, soaps, jams, candles and stained glass, patio furniture, tables, chairs and tapestries! The list goes on & on....are you starting to get it?

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 and spending the evening with your family? 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? Did you know that 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 other countries can build yet another glittering city! Christmas is about caring about
US, and encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams and be able to support their families!! When we care about our fellow Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits will come back to us multiplied.

Make this the new American Christmas tradition. And, when you think about it.... why stop after Christmas?

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.

Let's start a revolution of caring about each other by helping and supporting our friends and neighbors... afterall.... isn't that what Christmas is all about?