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Frugal, Conscious Holiday Gifts

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Frugal, Conscious Holiday Gifts

GirlsInFrontOfChristmasTree holiday gifts

By Linda Dobson

As hard as it is to believe, the 2011 holiday season is rapidly approaching.

Many of us have pockets emptier than usual, have had to change our living circumstances, and are watching the value of the few dollars left in our pockets get devalued daily. And yet…

…and yet…

These circumstances are creating a valuable shift in perspective on how to celebrate the holiday season in a frugal, conscious way.

The following piece recently made the rounds on Facebook. I’m sharing it here for those who don’t use Facebook. I’m sharing it for those who did see it on Facebook as a reminder.

I would like to add that while you’re thinking outside the box, to also support all of us “mompreneurs” who dedicate our efforts to building, supporting and advocating for homeschooling, unschooling, and all of the other alternatives that allow as many children as possible to skip the damages of schooling and receive a real education!

Frugal, Conscious Holiday Gifts

Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition of Holiday Gifts

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!

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 American 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, 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 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
Americans 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 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 couldn’t imagine.
THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

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

P. S. If you know who should get credit for this, please let me know so I can add it…many thanks.

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One Response to “Frugal, Conscious Holiday Gifts”

  1. Lilypad says:

    Search on Facebook for the 3/50 project—it’s a group started by a woman, Cinda Baxter, who champions local businesses. They have a “Keep the Cheer Here” campaign for the holidays, reminding people to spend their money at locally-owned brick-and-mortar businesses (wherever you are!!) instead of at big box stores or online. It’s pretty cool and her blog is always interesting.

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