|Christmas 2011 A Miracle on Main Street A blogger friend of mine, Dani Nichols, sent me an article about our economic relationship to China vis a vis what we buy for Christmas gifts. I took some liberties and modified her article and I hope you agree with me we each can make a difference with some new Holiday buying habits. So here it is:
1. It’s time to think outside the box. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box with fancy wrapping? How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?
2. Gym membership at a local club? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
3. Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
4. How about a gift card at their favorite local coffee shop.
5. How about a gift certificate from the locally owned pet store for that special little friend.
6. Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamines on a flat-screen TV? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like their lawn mowed for the summer or games at the local golf course.
7. There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. If your gift receiver doesn’t like fancy restaurants, 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 business owners with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
8. How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the local working guy or gal?
9. Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day or two or more.
10. Pre-pay for babysitting for the young mom who needs to get out to save her sanity.
11. A Friend’s computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW you can find some young person who is struggling to get their repair business up and running.
12. OK, you were looking for something more personal. Seek out local crafts people that make jewelry, pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
13. Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.
14. How about going out to see a play, concert or ballet at your hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
15. Honestly, people, do we 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. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip!
16. Christmas is about the Christ Child and by definition, Love. Christmas is about caring about our families and neighbors while encouraging local small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about others, and when we care about our communities, the benefits come back to us in ways we can’t imagine.
Take some time and reach out to your neighbors and local business owners and let’s help others realize their dreams and hopes for a brighter future this Christmas Season.