Monday, November 7, 2011

Gift Giving - From the Heart!

Consider the gifts you give to family and friends.    How many of them are cheaply made in a factory overseas or thoughtlessly purchased just so you can mark someone's name off a shopping list?   

Have you given any thought to the genuine needs of people in your community?    How about giving gifts produced by American hands in  your local community?

Below is a list I received, edited, added to, and re-posted on Facebook.   I've updated it for my Titus Two Friends, too.

Start a new Christmas tradition!

Think outside the box.  Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

·         Everyone gets their hair cut.  How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?

·         Gym membership?  It's appropriate for all thinking about 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 an extravagant giver who plunks down the Benjamins on a Chinese-made flat-screen TV?  Perhaps your gift recipient 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 gazillion 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 or Mom & Pop diner.

·         How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by an average American working guy?

·         Thinking about a heartfelt gift for Mom?  Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady or maybe a spa package.   What about a houseplant from the florist?

·         Computers need a tune-up.  Some young guy near you is struggling to get his repair business up and running; ask the 20-somethings you know for names.

·         Something more personal.  Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit or weave scarves.  Crafters make jewelry, pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.  Attend a craft fair in November.  

·         Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.

·         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.

·         Do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house?  When you buy a $5.00-string of lights about fifty cents stays in the community.  Rather . . . leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

·        Holiday meals?  Purchase locally grown food like honey or canned fruit or veggies or specialty jams at the nearby orchards or farms.

·         Give a gift certificate to a local farm so your recipient can buy eggs or meat.

If your gift recipient lives across the country, use the internet to locate his community, then google  businesses there.   Give a gift-certificate from the local grocery or hardware store, barber, spa, florist or golf course.    

Gift-giving is a way to encourage American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams.  When we support American hometown businesses, we care about our communities and the benefits come back to us in ways we could not imagine.
Start a new American Christmas tradition!! 

Love your neighbor as yourself
Galatians 5: 14 NIV

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