Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Some Ideas To Ponder

What I'm going to share with you is an email that was sent to me yesterday. I have edited it a bit as I felt the language was a bit strong in some areas, too much pro America and too much against other countries. It bothers me to drive down major as well an non major shopping streets and see empty stores. It angers me that so much of what was once produced here is sent away to be produced "cheaper". It bothers me to see small towns that were once vibrant but are now a series of empty, decaying storefronts, but drive just a few miles to the edge of town and there will sit a Wal-Mart with a packed parking lot. We are all to blame, me included. I decided to post this piece because it made me think about how to change my thinking just a bit and yet make a difference.
At the end of the post, I have included some of my favorite artists who are making the most beautiful things. Not all are from America. I think that there is room to support all.   

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 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. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone--yes EVERYONE gets there hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle?
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.
Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small privately owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
More extravagant gifts could be getting a driveway sealed, or the lawn mowed for the summer, or the driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are thousands of owner run restaurants, all offering gift certificates. What about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint?
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 you 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 10,000 Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a $5.00 string of lights, only 50 cents is staying in the community.
Christmas should be about caring for each other, encouraging the small business owner to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And when we care about our communities, the benefits come back to us in ways we can't imagine.
From Art Studio Lana. Svetlana is from Israel. Her felted creations are so beautiful. You can find her shop here.
 From Omaha, Nebraska, Ivy makes lovely polymer clay beads. You can see her other creations here.
Zolayka Handmade, from Bulgaria. Her items include knitted and crocheted accessories, toys and items for the home. You can find her shop here.
Ad Love is the shop of Angel D'Amico Bauer. From Chicago, Angel has hand screen printed scarves, t-shirts, clothing and other accessories. You can find her shop here.

In closing, I would like to share a piece I found some years ago. I think it's beautiful. I hope you like it.

I've see you stalking the malls, walking the aisles, searching for that extra-special gift. Stashing away a few dollars a month to buy him some lizard-skin boots; staring at a thousands rings to find her the best diamond; staying up all night Christmas Eve, assembling the new bicycle.
Why do you do it? So the eyes will pop, the jaw will drop. To hear those words of disbelief: "You did this for me?"
And that is why God did it. Next time a sunrise steals your breath, or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way. Say nothing, and listen as heaven whispers, "Do you like it? I did it just for you."

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  1. Well said I agree with your statement. I really try to shop at small individual owned retailers when I can even if it cost a few dollars more. I truly understand saving a few pennies short term can cost us dollars in the long run thanks for the post

  2. I really glad to find this web site on bing, just what I was looking for: D too saved to bookmarks.