Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Christmas 2011--Birth of a New Tradition

I received this email today, I am not sure who wrote it, so I did a google search to find the author.....Wow this message is posted everywhere, on blogs, facebook etc.  I didn't find the author.
So you may have already read it, but just in case you missed it here it is again.

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Canadians
with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian labor. 
This year will be different. 
This year Canadians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Canadians. 
There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Canadian 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 Chinese produced wrapping paper?
  • Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. 
  • How about gift certificates 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, Canadian 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 Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? 
  • 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 isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Canadians 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 working guy?
  • 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 or ballet at your hometown theatre.
  • Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
  • Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese 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.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Canadian pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Canadians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new Canadian Christmas tradition.
Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion groups -- throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?

I like most of these ideas, it reminds me of my youth when I used to make gifts for my family, or give my parents a coupon to clean their car.  I have been trying to avoid giving gift cards at christmas as they often do not get used, and the big companies are just keeping our money.  But I would be OK with giving or getting a gift certificate to a local restaurant, or my hairdresser cause I really will use that, and if for some reason I don't, they can use the money.  I would feel so much better about that, than I do owning the 5 unused gift certificates from Cineplex Odeon that expired Oct 31.  (p.s.note to self: don't buy gift cards with expiry dates)

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