I've received this email during this week and thought that it should be shared, seeing that we're only one month away from Christmas! Bottom line is that with some out-of-the-box-thinking we can save ourselves a lot of overspending while we're simultaneously doing good to our fellow South Africans. (Thanks for the heads-up Tan) :-)
"As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide South Africans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods - merchandise that has been produced at the expense of South African labor. This year will be different. This year South Africans will give the gift of genuine concern for other South Africans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by South African hands. Yes there is!
Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local South African 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 cleaned? Small, South African owned carwashes 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 buying a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or games at the local golf course.
There are 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, folks this isn't about big national chains - this is about supporting your home town South Africans 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 South African 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, local owned shops.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your waiter/waitress a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre?
Honestly, people, do we really need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? 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 South African pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about us, encouraging South African small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other South Africans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.
This is the new South African Christmas tradition.
Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion groups - send it to the editor of your local paper and radio station. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about"?
P.S. The 16 Day of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign starts today. It is our responsibility to 'not look away, but to act against abuse'.