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Thinking outside of the box

November 18, 2011
The Daily Freeman Journal

To the editor:

The holidays are approaching and the Asian factories have already kicked into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods. This merchandise has been produced at the expense of American factories and labor.

This year could be different. This year Americans could give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. Some people now say that 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 box, wrapped in wrapping paper?

Everyone, well almost everyone, gets their hair cut. How about a gift certificate from your local hair salon or barber? How about a fitness center membership? Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? American-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you gift certificates.

Would someone on your list like their driveway sealed or lawn mowed for the summer, or their driveway plowed all winter, or rounds at the local golf course? There are many local shops and restaurants that offer gift certificates. What about giving a half-dozen breakfasts at the local cafe?

This is all about supporting your local businessmen and women who have put their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open and provide needed goods and services. How about an oil change for their car, truck, motorcycle at a local shop? Wouldn't mom appreciate the services of a local cleaning lady for a day? Could someone use the services of a professional carpet cleaner? How about the local computer guy for upgrades or help in sorting out a problem?

Looking for something more personal? Local craftsman create quilts, pottery, and other hand crafted items. How about tickets to a production by the Webster City Community Theatre?

Even most major purchases can be directed toward buying goods produced in an American factory here in the Good Old USA. How about a certificate to drive someone to an appointment or grocery shopping?

Christmas should no longer be about Americans draining their pockets and sending that money to a country across the Pacific. It should be about caring about the U.S., encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to keep their doors open and to employ your fellow citizens.

The money spent here turns over many times so we all can benefit from spending our dollars here at home. When we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits from doing so come back to us in many ways.

Steve Struchen

Webster City



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