Gift Idea: Thinking Outside The Box

7:59 AM

Black Friday is almost upon us! I know a major percentage of the American population are scouring online and paper ads, hoping to score the best deal out there for the upcoming holiday season!  While you are in the midst of perfecting your shopping list, however, I just wanted to share an email that was circulating at work that caught my eye (down below).

It kind of reflects my thoughts when I was sharing one of my favorite Etsy artists and was promoting putting money in the pockets of real people.  I admit, I do love a great bargain and mostly buy my gifts, but in recent months I have been reevaluating my priorities and am wanting to become more personal, organic, and supportive of the local community. (New Year's resolution, anyone?)

While you are scoring the best deals of the year on Friday, why not put a few of those dollars that you saved towards a local business or artist?  What do you do to support the community or individuals when it comes to gift giving?

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition 
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?
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 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
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.
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.
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 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!! 
This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what 
Christmas is about? 

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  1. Great post.... I agree 100%. People complain about how the stores are greedy opening up earlier and earlier, but really it's the people greedy to shop and buy more, more, more. Keep it local, keep it in services, keep your consumption down. Love your blog. I saw your post for Pecan Pie Cheesecake on Pinterest (gotta try that).


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