Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holiday Season 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

It's time to think inside the "American box" and your local communities.

Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in 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 plonking down the Benjamin’s on a 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 wonderful local 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 citizens with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people could use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy? How about a gift card to get your washer & dryer serviced and cleaned?

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 & cleaning, and I KNOW I can find a local professional who is trusted, experienced and is struggling to get your business. Or if you are in need of a new computer, go to your local computer dealer rather than the superstores.

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 restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. 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, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand 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, the holidays should no longer be about draining our pockets, they should be about caring and encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS can be a new American holiday tradition.

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