CONTRIBUTION · 9th November 2011
Christmas - Something to really think about for this year for Canada!
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Canadians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods - merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian labor.
This year will be different. This year Canadians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Canadians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Canadian 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 Canadian 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, Canadian 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 bucks 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 Canadians 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 Canadian 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 Canadian pockets so that China can build another glittering city.
Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging Canadian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams.
And, when we care about other Canadians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.
THIS is the new Canadian 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 - 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 Christmas is about?
R R R Local
Comment by Kelly Munday on 28th November 2011
This Christmas I am adopting the 3 R's - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. 90% of the gifts that I am giving are previously loved, recycled gifts, locally made or bought gifts. Nothing made in China this year! The photography that I do I take gets put into reclaimed frames and they look great! The children that I buy for already have everything that they could ever want and more..so this year they don't get " brand new" things ! Buy locally made crafts from the artists in this area, go to the thrift stores, make your own cards from last years received ones...keep your hard earned $$ local!
Comment by northern gal on 18th November 2011
Merv, can you please install a 'like' button on the comments section, same as on CBC?
ANOTHER IDEA FOR GIFT GIVING
Comment by Laurie H on 12th November 2011
Love your posting its a great idea, "Without change there can be no change" and the concept of giving at christmas needs a change. I would like to add another option for gift giving, sponsership of a child through world vision( or another foundation) either as a gift to yourself , in memory of someone or in the name of someone you know . My husband and I finally quit thinking about it and did it 5 yrs ago. Our sponsorship of Yomaly and her family (from peru) has been one of our most rewarding blessings in our life. We hear from her a few times a year, we send her birthday a Christmas gifts and always get a photo with her and the gifts we sent, along with a letter from her thanking us for being in her life.We picked a child in a country that if posssible we could go visit before the sponsorship ended which will be in 2yrs.We contacted World Vision and they are very supportive of this we hope we can make it happen .So this is our story and our idea of a different way of giving at Christmas .. its simple and rewarding for all involved.
I create local
Comment by gav on 10th November 2011
I strongly support buying local. I am a local small business owner. I have some exceptional capabilities in my small shop. I hate to plug my own work but have a look www.raincoastindustries.com I use only locally harvested and milled material. I only buy from local suppliers and take great pride in what I create.
Comment by Laura M on 10th November 2011
Good article and good ideas. I'm tired of buying toys that I'm afraid might be painted with toxic paint or that are so cheap they break easily. I would like to buy Canadian and never could think of how to do it. Every store or mail order has items from China only.
Proud to be a Canadian
Comment by Maggie Jo on 10th November 2011
Why Author unknown? This article is GREAT! Even if it was a local business owner putting this out, it's an article to be proud of.
In any event, I agree 100% with this article. The suggestions are fantastic. My family isn't permitted to purchase any gifts for me - EVER. No b/day gifts, no Mother's Day gifts, nofin' . I haven't had a gift in YEARS from them and that's the way I like it. Instead of purchasing gifts for me during notable dates; they grit their teeth and volunteer along with me pulling activities that are important to me. Better than any dust-gathering gift to plunk on the cabinet, heh?
For Christmas? No personal gifts. We get one family gift and the stockings are filled with necessities like socks and hygiene items. I mean seriously. Do we REALLY need more stuff to store in our homes that we don't really need?!
Point of interest: Storage Units only became popular in the last # of decades cuz our Culture couldn't stop BUYING things we don't even have room in our homes/sheds to store! If that's not a clue we are too materialistic, then what is.
Another point of interest: I hear that recent statistics show the Americans are increasing their Christmas shopping "needs"; while Canadians are toning it down by purchasing gifts of necessity instead (like the suggestions in this article).
I think we Canadians are on the right path. Of course we are - we're Canadians.
Another bonus to buying local
Comment by Karen on 10th November 2011
"99% of what we purchase ends up in a landfill within 6 months"!
There was a time when clothing was made well enough to be repaired and handed down to a younger sibling, small appliances lasted longer than 4 months, purchases came out of the store with a minimum or no packaging, electronics didn't need to be replaced just because a newer version was available....
Buy local and save our economy AND our environment!