There are so many better ways to connect at Christmastime and boost the local economy

Thinking outside of the gift box

Editor:

As Christmas approaches, the giant Asian factories are busy producing monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods.

Editor:

Let’s start a new tradition.

As Christmas approaches, the giant Asian factories are busy producing monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods, many of which are sent overseas for Canadian consumers. This merchandise has been produced at the expense of Canadian labour.

This year let’s do something different. There is no excuse at gift time to give other than Canadian-made.

It truly is time to think outside of the box. Who says a gift needs to fit in a box? How about a gift certificate from one of our White Rock/South Surrey businesses?

Everyone gets their hair cut, and there are lots of hair salons and barbers in our area. A gift certificate from one may be perfect for someone on your list. Could someone use a gym membership; this one is appropriate for all ages? Car wash or detailing – who wouldn’t like that?

Here are other ideas, and I am sure there are many more: a golf game, theatre tickets, artists’ performances, cleaning service, lawn cutting, massage/pedicure/manicure, lube and oil, bicycle repairs, computer repair,  technical support and music, singing or dancing lessons.

Want something more personal? How about crafts made by fellow residents. For children, consider a trip to the zoo, ice skating, the swimming pool, a movie or an event with you, or contribute to their RESP account.

There are many wonderful owner-managed restaurants, all offering gift certificates. And if you want to be generous, how about a dozen certificates for breakfast?

Yes, this is about thinking outside of the box and supporting our own hometown Canadians who have their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

Instead of buying another string of cheap lights or ornament, please consider to leave the post person, garbage collectors or newspaper person a nice big tip.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down money on a huge flat-screen TV or another video game? Perhaps the receiver would be more appreciative of a contribution towards a tax-free savings account or a special vacation with you.

Or consider sponsoring a family less fortunate than you with a basket of Christmas treats, or make a donation to the food bank. What a wonderful way to teach children.

Another consideration is to give the gift of time. What is more valuable than your own time? Give a gift card to personally provide a service, or take someone out for a meal or a date to a play or movie. My adult sons like to give me a homemade card with an offer for a dinner and movie night or a gift card for a massage. I look forward to those much more than a mass-produced item.

Let’s start a new tradition and stop draining Canadians’ pockets. The holiday season is about caring about people. Let’s support local small businesses and encourage them to keep following their dreams.

When we care about fellow Canadians, we care about our community, and the benefits will come back in ways we cannot even imagine.

Myra Merkal, White Rock

 

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