05 December, 2011

If you want to buy, not make a gift this Christmas...

If you want to buy, not make a gift for someone this year, perhaps you can support Local?

Source: see MayDae for more wrapping ideas
I was sent this in an email recently. (So it's not my original work, but I don't know who to get permission from or credit the list to...) 
I've paraphrased it a bit. But essentially, it contains a few different ideas on how to support local business and gives suggestions for practical Christmas gifts this year.

It's time to think outside the box... Who says a gift needs to fit into box?
  • Everyone gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?
  • Gym membership? 
  • Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small owned detail shops & car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates. 
  • For the Gardeners on your list - how about some lovely healthy pot plants or plants for the garden or even a gift certificate from the local lawn mowing person. 
  • Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down a flat-screen TV?  Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or games at the local golf course.
  • There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. If your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local cafe. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town to keep their doors open.
  • How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle?
  • What about a gift certificate from a local home handy person for some chores to be done around the home?
  • Thinking about a heartfelt gift for someone close to you? They would LOVE the services of a local cleaner for a day.
  • Most people's computer (sewing machine, bicycle, lawn mower...) could use a tune-up.
  • OK, you were looking for something more personal.  Local crafts people spin their own wool & knit items with it. They make jewellery,  pottery & beautiful wooden creations...
  • Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants. Show your relatives around your area and support local businesses. 
  • How about going out to see a play or ballet at your home town theatre? Give tickets and go together.
  • Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands. Buy the CD they're promoting.
  • Buy locally made goods from a vineyard, olive grove, strawberry farm etc, and make up a gift basket yourself.
  • Support a local charity, in the same vein as the vouchers available from Oxfam or Worldvision. Give an amount in lieu of a gift on behalf of the receiver. Let your loved one know how your gift will help others in need.
I'm sure you can think of many more after reading that list.

Supporting local~ nurtures sustainability. 
Keeps the community love-money circle flowing (stimulating the local economy). Reduces the environmental impacts of transportation, such as carbon emissions, habitat loss and pollution. Fact: Non-profit organisations receive more donations from local businesses.  Keeps your friends employed and your town in business! Encourages a unique town character, innovation and lower pricing in the local marketplace.


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