New traditions for our 2011 holidays

Now that I’ve ordered our Thanksgiving turkey, I’ve started to think about the holidays. They are always hard for me since we don’t have Paul with us, but this year’s Thanksgiving will be different and I suspect very wonderful. We’re sharing it with our daughter-in-law Marissa’s family. Everyone will come to our house and bring their Thanksgiving specialty dish to share. I’m the turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberries person. The rest is up to our ten guests. I can’t wait to try some new foods, get to know my new family better, and perhaps start a new Thanksgiving tradition.

A friend of mine recently sent me this piece about ways to change our holiday gift giving traditions. I think there are a lot of good ideas here. If you agree, please share them with your family and friends. Maybe we can show we care about each other in a whole new way this year.

The Holidays 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! 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 a hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all those 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 plunking down
the Benjamins 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, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese
lights for the house when you buy a five-dollar string of lights, 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, The holidays are no longer about draining American pockets so that
China can build another glittering city. The holidays are now about caring about
the U.S., 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 holidays tradition.

Please share 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 the holidays are about?

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