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Putting Cheer in your Christmas Currency


This was forwarded by a wonderful new friend I met this year.  (Thank you, 2011, for new friends and new fearlessness!).  I am a total proponent of this idea, and will be incorporating it into my holidays this year and beyond.  So, let’s gather up our holiday dollars and use them to help out our neighbors this year.  Spread the cheer, and the message ….
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 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 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.

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 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 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.

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 theater.

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 American pockets so that China can build another glittering city.  Christmas is now about
caring about US, encouraging American 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. 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.  Isn’t that what Christmas is about?

9 responses to “Putting Cheer in your Christmas Currency

  1. help roll that economy, but seriously,
    i still love catholic parishes
    and the community lifestyle it unintentionally created.
    virgin mary float making, wafer-choir rotation activities, gossip, sunday pot lucks, three king games.
    patron saint of this new wonderful christmas tradition?
    how about beatrixte d’este. “she was born in a convent, but never found enough seclusion from the world, so she found a new religious home in a deserted monastery.”
    she combed local record shelves in search of the perfect trumpet blast.
    thanks revel gardener.

  2. Pingback: new christmas currency « Broken Bats

  3. or listen to your coins heartfelt plea and put them in a local jukebox .
    the holiday cheer might ripple more than we’ll ever know.

  4. Ralph ⋅

    Great topic!
    Fitting the gardening theme, how about giving a gift certificate from one of the many seed US companies to your favorite gardener. Whether used for seeds or garden supplies it’s a gift that will keep on giving.

    On the low budget but perhaps more thoughtful side, I’ve seen instructions for small terrariums made from canning jars. Different color gravels in the bottom, bows, &c to decorate, with a cactus or plant of your choice as the main attraction. A good idea for the ‘budding’ gardener.

    Great idea too on tipping your wait person when eating out. I know someone in the business and you wouldn’t believe some of the stories I’ve heard. Once as a favor I helped work one lunch shift in a Manhattan restaurant. What an eye opener that was, and I was pretty tired and glad when it was over. Many of the people who serve you work almost exclusively on tips, and they often have to share a portion of them with other workers in the establishment. When you get good service leave a good tip. If you frequent the place you may find you get even better service, and maybe tips on what is good to order that day- or what to avoid!

    If anyone is into ‘prepping’, or is thinking about getting some extra things together just in case, I just ran across a short story at:
    There’s a somewhat long section on generators which can be skipped if it’s not of interest, but there’s some good ideas worth reading.

  5. Pingback: You Go (to) The Container Store « revel mama

  6. Ralph ⋅

    Waking up, the rain finally giving way to a nice sunny day, the daily ritual of checking the mailbox turned up another pleasant surprise. My first new seed catalog. This one was from Park Seed. Nice tomatoes on the cover followed by pages of brightly colored flowers, corn, more pages of various sizes and shapes of tomatoes, herbs, vegetables- if only my garden would look half as good as the pictures. There’s a picture with the title ‘Kids in the Garden Learn for Life’. “The wonder that comes from planting a seed that grows into a towering Sunflower… you are launching an adventure that can last a lifetime…”. Page 37 if you have their catalog. What a great idea!

    As usual I will probably look through this catalog dozens of times, pick out ten times more seeds than I could possibly plant, and gradually narrow down my list to a size only slightly unreasonable. Studying the growing details of each seed on my list will weed out a few more choices (pun intended). By that time another catalog or two should arrive and the whole process will be repeated- again and again.

    No doubt some people look at this whole annual ritual as some kind of mental disorder. Investing hours on end planting tiny seeds in a small patch of dirt hidden by tall buildings. There is probably even a small green pill to cure it- with a list of side effects larger than my seed catalog. To those who understand however, the real green pills grow from that little patch of earth. They taste great, are a joy to look at, and make us feel good.

    • Revel

      I love those green pills! Have you laid out the design for your garden for next spring? Do you have anything growing still now? I bought some herbs a couple weeks ago from Union Square green market after spending the day before Thanksgiving shopping the open air there and realizing I was buying what I normally planted (e.g., oregano, tarragon, etc.). So I’m trying to grow them inside this year. We’ll see how they do. Then, to my surprise, my lemon tree blossomed. And the banana plants are happy and healthy. Looks like everyone’s adjusted to being inside, and accepting the notion of winter. Well, maybe everyone except me. Not true. I think I’m ready. In fact, it feels a little weird that it’s not colder yet. I was talking with my friend, Karen, about it last night. It’s an odd sort of stagnant air. Not fall, not winter, just bland. Bring it on, winter!

  7. Ralph ⋅

    I’ve planned next year’s garden- sort of. During the summer I took the advice I heard online and watched how the sun traveled across my yard day to night, and made a scaled drawing of the yard. I looked up the sun’s height in the sky through the year to see how much surrounding fences threw shadows in the yard as the year progresses. My very general layout will be lettuce and not so sun loving stuff toward the south where there’s a lot of shade. Three trees kind of complicate the rest with their shade, but mid-garden to south gets the most sun.

    I just got 2 copies of the Seed Savers Exchange catalog. They must have known how often I carry catalogs between house and car. 600 varieties of seeds, I starting my first selections keeping a careful eye on grow season lengths. I can’t wait for their yearbook where members sell or trade seeds between themselves. Apparently there’s over 13000 varieties, 4000+ varieties of tomatoes alone! All are heirlooms. This may turn out to be my favorite seed catalog! Many seeds have a brief history of their origin, some with dates and names of who originally had them and where. If anyone has $40 to spare for a year’s membership you may want to look into them. You can buy seeds without joining.

    Back on topic, so far I picked (still subject to countless reviews) eggplant, cucumber, pak (bok) choy- and a couple more- that list is in the car. Basically, next year’s layout is still a work in progress and will change until I have a complete list of what to grow.

    My oregano is doing well on a west facing window sill, still recovering a little from my forgetting to water it. My cacti also on window sills are healthy, and my 2 basil plants are OK, although one seems to be slow growing. I brought in my sage which is OK, and my bamboo seems happier now that it’s inside out of the wind. The bananas are doing well. The Red Ti I planted vertically in a flower pot is taking it’s time, nothing to really see above ground yet. The one I planted horizontally already has a few buds which I assume will be branches before long. It seems the horizontal method is the way to go on those. I really need to get the remaining branches into soil. I took a small newly sprouted piece of mint from an outside container and put it into a small container inside. The mint outside is just about at it’s end for the year. I tried the ‘new sprout’ cutting once before and it grew into a nice plant, so hopefully this does the same indoors for winter salads. Two scallions I started from seeds in my basil container are still too small, and seem slow growing. I may have to try getting a couple from outside and bring them in.

  8. Ralph ⋅

    A recent episode on I believe it was episode 131 on overwintering brought up growing bananas a number of times. As I suspected from watching my plants, he said that they liked growing in shade. It’s a pretty good episode to listen to, as are most of the one’s on the site.

    I checked a box of Epsom salt and it actually said to use 2 teaspoons in a gallon of water every 3 months for indoor plants. There was also directions for outdoor use. I am still a little cautious about this and want to do more research. Probably the best thing to do is have a really good soil test done before using it in the yard, but I may try a little on a couple indoor containers over the winter. If anyone checks into using Epsom salt on plants please post what you find. There’s a fair amount of information on the benefits to humans, not nearly as much about plants.

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