Time to think outside of the box-literally! Cindy's blog Nov. 13 2017

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This year has gone quickly and people are starting to think about their holiday gift giving so it is time for my annual “buy local-no packaging-meaningful present” blog.

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Canadians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian labour.

This year is going to be different!. This year Canadians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Canadians.

It’s time to think outside the box, LITERALLY!

The following are some suggestions for gifts that your friends and family will appreciate, maybe you can do together, won’t cost a ton and will help the planet. Bonus-many of these can be purchased on-line so you don’t have to fight the crowds or find parking!

How about gift certificate from your local Canadian hair salon or barber? A gym membership is appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement-even a few guest passes to kick start their program. Everyone gets their hair cut, give them a gift cert. to their local barber/salon.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, Canadian owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates. My fav car wash, Doctor Car Wash has a sale on their book of 6 washes, best gift ever! (they recycle their water).

Perhaps your grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway ploughed all winter.  Why not treat them to a game at the local indoor driving range, throw in lunch after?

There are so many owner/family run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.

Remember, this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Canadian 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 Canadian working guy?

If you are thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom how about the services of a local cleaning lady for a day? Everyone loves a good gift basket filled with fun food! Buy some of The Soup Girls soups. She uses local ingredients and all you do is dump the jar in water and ,voila, have the most delicious soups in amazing flavors.

Want to buy something more personal, go to a local craft sale and purchase something handmade with local items. Take your family to the St Lawrence market. Buy your children a 4Oceans bracelet-help them to understand that there is power in what you buy. Find a product that is upcycled or recycled, so what you are buying isn’t adding more garbage to the planet. I will add here that if you need to wrap a gift put it in a tea towel (my Gramma always did that!) or a cloth bag that be reused.

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.

Instead of purchasing more throw-away trinkets take that money and  leave the mailman, city maintenance worker, paperboy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, holiday shopping is no longer about draining Canadian pockets so that China can build another glittering city. The holidays are now about caring about us, encouraging Canadian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. We work for a Canadian company so we should appreciate how important it is to keep the local economy growing and support hard working Canadians.

And, when we care about other Canadians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.

This is a revolution of caring about each other and the planet, and isn’t that what this magical season is all about?

 

 

Craft sales this season…

https://www.todocanada.ca/christmas-markets-craft-fairs-toronto/2/

https://www.oneofakindshow.com/toronto/en/index.html

Soup Girl http://www.localsoupgirl.ca/

4Oceans https://4ocean.com/

https://fashionmagazine.com/fashion/new-canadian-shopping-sites/