This was sent to me via email by a good friend. I am not sure who the orginal author is, but I loved its message. I thought it goes along well with my Buying Local post a few days ago.
"As the holidays approach, the giant foreign factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of 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 foreign produced wrapping paper?
"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 foreign-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 course.
"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/gal?
"Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning crew for a day.
"My computer could use a tune-up, and I know I can find some young person who is struggling to get his/her 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.
"You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that foreigners can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about us, 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."