I recently came across this in another forum. I love the idea that it is trying to deliver and think it does a good job. Given that most of our communities in FL are serviced based....I really feel if these simple ideas were implemented it would effectively help our local economy in a time when it is needed. I was thinking about including this as part of my newsletter at the 1st of the month. What are your guys thoughts on doing this? Anything that one could feel is offensive by doing so? Am I missing something? I figure Christmas time shopping will begin soon enough and that a helpful reminder to support their local businesses may do its part in making some of our Christmas a little brighter... Whats your guys thoughts? Christmas 2011 Birth of a New Tradition As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply 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. Yes there is! Its 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 American hair salon or barber? Gym membership, massage, gift of fitness and nutrition products? Its appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement. That is the #1 New Years resolution. Who wouldnt 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 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 a couple of rounds at the local golf course. There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isnt the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isnt 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 couldnt use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American 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 American pockets so that China 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 couldnt imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.