Gift Ideas

Hey all,

I received an email forward from a dear friend. I thought the contents were very interesting, so I figured I’d put it in a blog. What I like about this email is the idea of giving services and experiences. I, for one, do not need more “stuff”.

Something to ponder as the time of giving approaches:
As Hanukah and Christmas approach, Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with piles of cheaply produced goods – at the expense of American labor.  This year can be different.  Aside from the spiritual importance of each Holiday- which should NEVER be overlooked.  The months ahead are a time when you, yes… little tiny YOU an ME can make a difference for our neighbors and ourselves.  Consider this when planning your gift giving…

• How about gift certificates from your local Hair salon or Barber?
• Gym or Pool membership?  It’s appropriate for all ages.
• Small, American owned detail shops and car washes have gift certificates or a whole book of gift certificates.
• Like to give candles?  Look at the label- there ARE American made candles in many stores.
• Spending the really big $$??  Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter- by the local teenager or someone you know who is unemployed.  Maybe rounds at the local golf course?
• Mom & Dad need help with yard work, small repairs, etc.?  Hire your neighbor who just got layed off- company outsourced his job, college student, etc.  Print Mom & Dad out a nice gift certificate.  They will love the help and you’ll also be helping someone else to pay their bills, buy groceries, etc.
• There are a gazillion family-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates.  What about a half dozen breakfasts at the local Diner?.  Family run ice cream shops, pizza, or bakery? Remember, this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your neighbors whose financial lives are on the line.  So they can keep their doors open, hire our kids, or even us- when the company we gave the last 20 years of our lives to, cuts us off at the knees.
• How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle?  Done at a shop run by your neighbor; who hires folks from town?
• Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom?  Why not the services of a local cleaning lady for a day or a month?  How about a Spa gift certificate for a massage, mani or pedi.  Keep the $$ here at home- in your town.
• Computer trouble?   You can surely find some local young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
• Local crafters make great gifts; scarves, gloves, cool hats, jewelry, pottery and other great crafts.  Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a bigger tip.  Add some culture and go see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.  Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.  
• Honestly folks, 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 bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy, mechanic, or babysitter a nice BIG tip.    
Hanukkah and Christmas should not be about draining American pockets so that China (a Communist Nation, I remind you) can build another, city, enlarge its military, or loan the U.S. more money.  Hanukkah and Christmas aside form their SPIRITUAL IMPORTANCE are an opportunity to prove we care about each other, the American people, and our country; by enabling local small businesses to STAY OPEN, do better, and hire more people.
Something to consider.  Feel free to pass it on….  I hope you do.”

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