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Our Resolution 2012

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Our Resolution (Yours & Mine). Ahhh…a new year. For me, a new year is a kind of cleansing time–a time to reflect on what has gone well, along with what I need to do better or differently. There have been some years that I have just been ready to see the old year GO and a new one arrive, thinking the new year would HAVE to be better the than old! One of the things my mom and I have always done is share our New Year’s resolutions. I have tried to do this

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with my husband and children, but they don’t really seem to care to make them or keep the ones I make for them! So, I thought I’d try it on you – our Postcards readers!

During the month of November, I received a very thought-provoking email from my friend, Kim Sanders. The gist of it was, as we Christmas shopped, to think about local businesses and families you help by spending your money at home. It was more than “check the labels and buy products made in the USA.” It was change your thinking and give the gift of Americans helping Americans. So that’s one of my New Year’s resolutions, and I encourage you to join me. During this upcoming new year, there will be a time when we all have to purchase gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, retirements and other celebrations. Let me urge you to think “outside the shirt box” for these gifts.

Here are a few ideas from that email I’ll share: Everyone — yes EVERYONE — gets his or her 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 detailed? Small, American-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate. Are you an extravagant giver? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like a new recliner, their lawn mowed for the summer, or some games at the local golf course. There are a multitude of owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. Remember folks, this isn’t about big, national chains — this is about supporting your hometown Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open. How many people could use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle done at your local auto dealer or a shop run by the American working guy? Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day or a beautiful bouquet from your hometown florist. How about a unique gift from a local gift shop? What about a certificate to your hometown meat market for some great steaks to grill? Okay, you were looking for something more personal. Local craftspeople make jewelry, soap, pottery, and beautiful wooden boxes. Plan an outing at local, owner-operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. Or, how about going out to see a play at your hometown theatre? Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Hopefully, you’re inspired. Hopefully, you have some ideas of your own. Please write and share them with us, because I know there are many more! When we support and encourage American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams, we show that we care about each other. When we care about each other, we care about our communities, and the benefits will come back to us in ways we can’t imagine. That’s my New Year’s resolution. Will you join me?

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