A new approach to Christmas

As the holidays approach, the giant overseas factories are kicking into high gear to provide Australians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods and merchandise that have been produced at the expense of Australian labour, and in many instances, doesn’t last very long or really are not wanted.
Make this year 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 cheaply produced wrapping paper (more trees gone)?
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. Or pay for some tennis, golf or surf lessons, or music lessons, especially for youngsters.
Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Or serviced? 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 dollars on a 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 or some house maintenance instead.
There are a lot of Australian owned and run restaurants, all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half-dozen Sunday breakfasts at a local eatery. 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 a local working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mum? Mum would love the services of a local cleaning lady for a day or more, or the ironing done!
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 are looking for something more personal. What about a massage to relax the stressed loved one? Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewellery, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes. What about your local artists?
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and how about going out to see some local talent at your hometown theatre.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands. Some are surprisingly good entertainment.
Honestly, people, do you really need to buy another ten thousand foreign manufactured lights for the house, with electricity prices escalating? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have that kind of money to burn, give the postie a good tip or make a donation to a local charity in the name of a loved one.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Australian pockets so that other nations can build another glittering city. Christmas should be about caring for 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.
H Holt