Ira’s Christmas Tips 11/28/12

Christmas 2012 – This may not be a new idea, but it’s a good one.

As the holidays approach this year is a good time to help our friends and neighbors by buying American.

This year we 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!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in wrapping paper? Everyone — yes EVERYONE (well, almost everyone)  gets their hair cut. How about gift certificate from your local  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, locally 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  cash for a 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 bazillion 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 is about supporting your home town family, friends and neighbors 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 local garage?

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, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his 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  at your hometown theater.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you really need to buy another ten thousand Christmas lights for the house? If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice big tip.

You see, 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 couldn’t imagine.

This could be the new American Christmas Tradition.

This is a revolution of caring about each other and isn’t that part of what Christmas is about?

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