As the holidays approach, let us think about our communities.
This year Canadians could give the gift of genuine concern for other Canadians.
There is no longer an excuse that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Canadians 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 fancy 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 exercise or 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 plonking down big bucks on a flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his/her driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway ploughed 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 cafe.
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 the Canadian working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for your mom? Mom would love the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
Your computer could use a tune-up? I know you can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
Okay, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves.
They make jewellery, 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.
Or find a venue showcasing local bands.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Canadian pockets — Christmas is now about caring about us, encouraging 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 couldn’t imagine.
This could be the new Canadian Christmas tradition. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is about?