Thanksgiving and the controversy surrounding premature Christmas music and Black Friday taken to the extreme is now behind us. Lately, it seems there’s been an onslaught against Thanksgiving. One day meant to be spent with family and friends has become little more than looking ahead to a late night/early morning/next day venture to the malls and big box stores. All to take advantage of so-called door-buster deals, among the maddening crowds and frenzied shoppers. Thanksgiving should come first! More about this… next year.
I received an email a few weeks ago. You know the kind that are sent en masse to all our contacts. The same I’m guilty of sending occasionally myself. It was a message I thought worth sharing which I did among those on my personal email list and now with you. It turns out its been widely distributed, not only in email, but among newspapers, blogs and other web sites, even on Facebook. You could definitely say, Its gone viral!
If its message doesn’t make sense during these tough financial times for American families and business — especially during the holiday season — then I don’t know what does. If we were to start this tradition it would make a huge difference making this year one of the most memorable Christmases ever. I have no idea who originally wrote this… but I’ve edited and added to it to fit my own style. My apologies to readers living outside our borders. This is all about America.
With the holiday season here, Asian factories are in high gear providing Americans with an abundance of cheaply produced goods — often manufactured at the expense of American jobs. This year however will be different, much different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. No longer is the excuse that nothing is produced by American hands acceptable. It simply isn’t true.
With the buying frenzy reaching warp speed it’s time to think outside the box. Who says a gift needs to fit in a box anyway, wrapped in Chinese wrapping paper? Here are a few ideas.
EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your small business hair salon or barber?
Gym memberships are appropriate for anyone thinking about improving their fitness.
Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or two.
Are you one of those givers who thinks nothing of plunking down big money on a foreign-made flat-screen? Maybe your lucky benefactor would like their driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed through the winter, or games at a locally owned golf course, or… get the picture? Again, think outside the box. Think locally.
There are a gazillion owner-operated small hometown restaurants — most offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy dining out type, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint? Plan your holiday outings at these restaurants and be sure and leave your server a nice tip. My mother raised me on those hard-earned tips. Remember, this isn’t about big national chains — but about supporting your hometown and your fellow American business owners. It’s about your neighbors with their financial lives on the line and worrying about keeping their doors open.
How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a locally-owned shop run by the American working stiff just down the street?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Maybe she’d love the services of a local cleaning lady for just a day, or more!
Say you’re looking for something more personal. There are local crafts people who make their own products… jewelry, pottery, glass ware, beautiful wooden boxes, photographers and more. Check the smaller gift shops and ask about locally made products.
And, how about going out to see a play at your community theater? Musicians and local venues need your support too. So find a locally owned club showcasing local bands, and have a great night out with family and friends Don’t forget your mailman, trash man, babysitter, even your bus driver. Leave them a nice big tip too. One of the most memorable holiday gifts I’ve ever received came when I drove for the local transit system. A passenger handed me an envelope with a nice card and inside, a ten dollar bill!
It’s time that Christmas no longer be about draining America’s collective pocket and sending our business across the seas. Do you realize the annual interest paid on our nation’s debt to the Chinese pays for nearly a fourth of their military budget?
There are a million-and-one ways to use our financial power to help us here at home. Your dollars spent locally will go a long ways in encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away and to follow their dreams. By doing this we’ll show we really do care about our communities, and our country. The benefits will come back to us in ways we can’t imagine.
Faced with the realities of our times, this is the new American Christmas and beyond, a new beginning. Think creatively. Check those labels! I admit it. I’ve always been a flag-waver, a patriot, proud to be an American. But while I’ve seen the bumper stickers I’ve never been a rah, rah, rah “Buy American” kind of a guy… but I am now. I get it. It’s time to get serious… and make Buy American! a battle cry. No longer is it if we can. We have to!
Help save America… your country and all of us need you! Of all the blogs I’ve written I hope this is the one you’ll share with your family and friends.
Thanks for coming. Now, go spread some Christmas cheer! But don’t forget the reason for the season. Your comments are always welcome.