I received an email the other day that really made me think. It was a little harsh but the message was good & timely so I’ve reprinted it here with my own edits and comments added. Author is unknown so I can’t give credit:
Each year as the holidays approach, giant foreign 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 can be different. This year Americans can 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. Yes there is!
I was so glad to see on the internet the other day that Saturday Nov. 26th has been dubbed “Small Business Saturday.” You can celebrate by shopping local and supporting small businesses in your own neighborhood.
It’s time to think outside the box. Who says a gift needs to fit in
a shirt box, wrapped in foreign-made wrapping paper?
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber? Or a gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
And 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.
There are many family-run restaurants in your area– 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 or a professional organizer for a day. I happen to know one who is offering a discount for gift certificates bought in December!
If 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. Hit one of the many craft shows this November & December.
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 theater? Upper Darby Performing Art Center (www. Udpac.com) has several holiday shows in December.
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. Why not leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip instead?
The Christmas shopping season doesn’t have to be about buying more for less, it can be about 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 couldn’t imagine. Besides, who needs more stuff? No one I know.
How do you feel about shopping local & small?