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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 their hair cut. How about gift certificates from one of our local Aitkin hair salons or barbers?
Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement. Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Aitkin 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 Benjamin’s 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 courses.
There are owner-run restaurants in the Aitkin area – all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast cafe.
How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car,truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by an Aitkin working guy?
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some business person who is struggling to get or keep his/her 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 Aitkin owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a newly released movie at our 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 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, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American (Aitkin) 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 Christmas tradition. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that part of what Christmas is about?