Stuck on Christmas gift ideas? Why service gifts rock, AND help the economy!
Hi guys: I didn’t write this bit below (in italics), but these are some amazing ideas that should be shared. I don’t know how to credit the original author – I found this floating around on Facebook. If you’ve already read this spiel somewhere else, please skip down to my list of ideas at the bottom:
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. 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 their Benjamens 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, 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. (My addition: try Etsy.com.)
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.
What 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, 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. Spread the Christmas cheer in your own community! …..
As my fiancé and I try to pare down the enormous amount of stuff we have – as many people I know are doing – I completely agree that services can be the best presents. Some of the most memorable gifts I’ve enjoyed the past indeed weren’t things at all, but experiences. Beyond gift cards and some of the more everyday items listed in the spiel above, there are TONS of exciting experiences you can give for the holidays! Here are some ideas:
- Massage, acupuncture, or spa services
- Tickets (as a gift) to plays, movies, operas, musicals, and concerts, sporting events
- Cooking lessons
- Wine/beer tasting sessions
- Web development services, websites for a friend or family member’s business, or a personal blog setup (heyyy, I’d love to help with that one! http://yellowrubberball.com)
- Special outings and trips – zoo tickets, theme parks, tourist attractions, aquariums
- Flight and/or hotel for a weekend getaway
- Sailboat rental for a day
- Adventure lessons – skydiving, parasailing, hang gliding, surfing, windsurfing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, paintballing
- Winter sports – ice skating lessons/skate session, ski lift tickets & ski rentals, snowshoeing class
- Art lessons – photography, drawing, painting – look at local community classes.
- Music lessons – voice, piano, guitar, base, violin, drums
For each person you’re treating this Christmas – what have they been dreaming of? Is there something they’ve always wanted to experience, be better at, try for the first time? With services, give the gift of great memories.
What neat ideas do you have for neat service-related gift ideas? What would you like to receive?
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