BY DON BARNES
I sincerely hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with food, friends and family and I pray for safe travels for all who have to do so. I look forward to this time of year every year, for family togetherness, love and fellowship. Now, to get on with the shopping and the merriment of the most important holiday of the year, Christmas, as we remember the reason for the season.
For your Christmas shopping I have a few suggestions I would like to make that will benefit you, and everyone in the community in many ways. Why not shop with local businesses and keep the money circulating in the community where it benefits us all every time that dollar circulates from one hand to the next? The taxes on every dollar spent locally help all of us in the city and the county.
Also, there are several people in our area who make handcrafted items, clothing, accessories, decorations and unusual gift items. Too often we go out and buy things for people that they either do not want or need and quite often they wind up exchanging the items or returning them for cash.
Therefore, why not buy and give gift certificates from local merchants that can be used by the recipient to exchange for items they actually need. Example….give your mom a gift certificate to have her car detailed. Or, give dad a certificate from his barber shop for haircuts. Gift certificates for dinner at their favorite restuarants is something you can hardly go wrong with.
How about a gift certificate from the grocery store where they shop? Or, the favorite store they like to shop at? Give dad a gift certificate to be used at one of the auto parts businesses in town. Or, pay a bill for your parents or other loved ones on your shopping list. These are just a few suggestions that would seem practical now, during this period of economic recession, buy things they really need rather than trying to guess what they might want or need and get it wrong. And, while you are shopping at the stores remember to “buy American” and help people keep their jobs or create new jobs.
For more suggestions: If you are thinking of putting down a pile of cash for a big screen television for mom and dad why not buy them something they need around the house like a new dishwasher or washing machine, or, anything like that which is practical and they might need. Get dad gift certificates for oil changes. Short of cash? Give them a “personal gift certificate” offering to do some badly needed work around the house, like mow the lawn next summer or shovel the snow off the driveway this winter. Maybe a family member needs to have work done on their computer and you know a young person who is a computer specialist who could stand to make a few extra bucks this Christmas.
And, do you honestly need ten thousand more Chinese lights to go around the house? Why not use some of that money to give a bigger tip to your waiter at the local restaurant you go to a lot. Or, leave the mailman, the baby sitter or trash collectors a big tip. Do you know some local youngsters who have a band and perhaps have a new CD? Help them out and buy a copy or buy a few and give them as gifts.
I am sure you can probably think of dozens of ways you can spend your Christmas cash locally and by being practical, helping where help is really needed. Remember, it’s the thought that counts and the gifts do not have to be wrapped in pretty or colorful paper to make a lasting impression, to express your love for a certain person in your life.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about the U.S., 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.
Did you know that every dollar spent in a community changes hands approximately seven times and think about this, every time that dollar changes hands, the taxes help the county and your hometown.
“In God We Trust”………Don Barnes P.O. Box 602 Poteau,OK 74953 [email protected]