Join the gift-giving revolution


To the Editor:

Christmas 2011 and the birth of a new tradition — support our Island businesses.

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? (Even most Hallmark products are made in China.) Mind you, I am not against the Chinese at all, but rather more for our American workers.

Everyone, yes everyone, gets their hair cut. How about gift certificate 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. Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed or lawn mowed for the summer, or the driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a many Island-owned and 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 spot. Remember, folks, this isn’t about big national chains — this is about supporting your hometown 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.

Computers can always use a tune-up, and I know you can find some young Island person who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

Okay, you were looking for something more personal. Local artisans spin their own wool and knit them into classically beautiful sweaters and scarves. They make jewelry, sheepskin slippers and hats,and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes to name a few items. These and more (80-plus exhibitors) can be seen at the Artisan’s Fair at the Ag Hall held November 25 and 26, here on the Island.

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 few hundred Chinese-made lights for the house? When you buy a five-dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have that kind of money to burn, consider leaving it instead for the mailman, trash man, or babysitter as a nice big tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that other countries can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about us, encouraging American small businesses tokeep 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.

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. Put it on Facebook, Twitter.

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

Ann Floyd