I received this on email today - thanks Heike, and wanted to share...
Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Australians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Australian labour.
This year will be different. This year Australians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Australians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Australian hands. Yes there is!
It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local Australian 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 detailed? Small, Australian-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 the Benjamin s on 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 a lots of Australian 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 Australians 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 Australian working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mum? Mum 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 jewellery, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and cafes. Or what about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the postie, garbo or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Australian pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging Australian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams.
And, when we care about other Australians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine .
THIS is the new Australian 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 stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?
A nature loving professional sharing ideas to do good in the world.