As the holidays approach, the giant Asian 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 Chinese produced wrapping paper?
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
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
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down
the cash on a Chinese 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
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 Chinese
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
China 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.
Forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it to discussion
groups — throw up a post in your local newspaper in the Rants and Raves
section — your radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a
revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is
BUY SOUTH AFRICAN – BE SOUTH AFRICAN – The job you save might be your own