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.
Make this year different. 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 boxes of excessive packaging and products produced by cheap labor that take away American jobs. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Some ideas to help this season:
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 that are thinking about 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.
Everyone needs an oil change for his or her car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy or gal?
Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
Computers need tune-ups, and there are lots of young computer business owners who are struggling to get their repair business up and running.
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. 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.
And while you are shopping for those you love remember those that are in need and donate some money to a good cause. Help out a family that won’t be having a good Christmas this year.
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 tip. Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who thinks nothing of buying 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. There are 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, this season isn’t about big National chains—this is about supporting your hometown Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open. Christmas this year should be about caring for US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams.
When we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we can’t imagine. This should be the new American Christmas tradition.