Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A New "Canadians For Canadians" Christmas Tradition

I admit I have not thought out all the theological implications of what follows, so please don't attack me on that, but a good friend of mine passed on this piece to me and I thought there was merit to sharing it with others.   It is possible for us to help our struggling small business people right here at home rather than sending our money out of the country this Christmas.  Take a look:

I have always tried to be creative and thoughtful in my gift giving.  Add to this list: homemade baked goods, jams, jellies, garage sale, and thrift store treasures.
Another idea: things that you own that you love, can be passed on.
Jewlery. scarves, books, DVD and CDs. Maybe give a donation to a local charity in the name of your friend or loved one.
[I can recommend two:  SCA International's 3rd Annual Christmas Bag Outreach and ICC International's Kenyan Christian Teacher's Sponsorships.]

Here is a big one: gas cards and grocery cards. If we think about it, the list is endless.

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

This year, Canadians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Canadians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, that "we can find nothing made in Canada".
It is time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in offshore-produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE, gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local Canadian 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, Canadian 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 $100's on an offshore-made flat-screen TV? 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 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 home town Canadians 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 a local Canadian 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 theatre? Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand offshore-produced lights for the house?  When you buy such 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.
This Christmas let's think about two things:  What Christmas is all about -- it's real purpose.  In case you don't know, Christmas is about Jesus Christ coming to earth to live among us so He could take on our sins and set us free from them in order that we could enter into a relationship with Holy God and ultimately have eternal life.

Secondly, this Christmas, let's enourage Canadian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Canadians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we could not imagine.  With a stronger Canada, there will be a stronger world -- including places like the countries whose goods we normally would purchase.

THIS could be the start of a new Canadian Christmas tradition!!

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

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