As the holidays approach, all the giant factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced merchandise.
This year will be different.

It is time to think outside the box. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in mass- produced wrapping paper?

Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets his or her hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages that are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small 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 Benjamins on a foreign-made flat-screen TV? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like their 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?
Remember, folks this isn’t about big national chains — this is about supporting your hometown businesses 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? Parents would LOVE the services of a local cleaning person for a day. My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young person who is struggling to get their repair business up and running.

If you are looking for something more personal then look to 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.

Leave your mail carrier, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

This is about caring about your neighbors, encouraging small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about our neighbors, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we could not imagine.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

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