Friday, November 18, 2011

With Christmas just around the corner

I wanted to share with you am email I received this morning. Although it is South African themed, you will get the basic idea of what the email is trying to say. As we say in South Africa, "Local is lekker" (Local is great). Here it is:

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant overseas factories are kicking into high gear to provide us with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of South African labour. 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 plenty.

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in mass produced wrapping paper from abroad?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local 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 valet’d? Small, South African owned 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 cash on an overseas made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway fixed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or roof waterproofed and painted.

There are a Gazillion 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 African 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 motorbike, done at a shop run by a 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 do with an upgrade, 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 are great. They make jewelery, pottery, knitted stuff, Teddy Bears, paintings and home preserves etc.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how 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 mass produced overseas lights for the house? When you buy a R50 string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. 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 foreign countries can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about us, encouraging 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 should be the new South African Christmas tradition.


  1. Well said. Thanks for posting the e-mail sent to you Tracy. Local is lekker. Let's keep the spirit alive.


  2. I do not live in South-Africa, but I sure like the message in that e-mail. Thank you for posting it!

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  4. I too do not live in South Africa - but agree with you feelings. When I shop - I try not to by - made in China. I look for the Made in the USA. It costs more - but I feel better about it.

  5. Very well said! We are so materialistic its sick. What a wonderful idea to help your local economy? Tracy you should run for office!! LOL I like the way you think <3
    Hugs, from Joey and Kealani and Caboval

  6. this message! Though I tend towards local and national animal rescue, elder care, and endangered children organizations, I most often give friends and loved ones something that will hopefully change someone's life if only in a very small, donated kind of way. Unless I know someone is in true need for something specific, I find people love these "gifts" and it encourages them to join in the giving. I also try to support local merchants and restaurants whenever possible. Their prices may be a bit higher than the MEGA stores, but you can't beat the personal service and true thanks you get around the corner.
    Awesome post Tracy -- kudos to whoever wrote that email. It sure makes you think about what truly matters at this most wonderful time of the year.

    Warmest regards,