For many, the celebration of Christmas in Seal Beach is just around the corner. This year though I want to introduce the birth of a new tradition derived from a Mantra fostred by the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce: Shop local.
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods - merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year can be different. This year Americans can give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!
It's time to think outside the box. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone - yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut (even me). How about gift certificates from your local Seal Beach hair salon (Essentials Salon at 311 Main St) or barber (Main St Barber Shop at 317 1/2 Main St).
Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates. For mobile auto detailing I recommend Jimbo's Auto Detailing and for a car wash try Big Daddy's Car Wash in Sunset Beach. Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway or garage floor sealed, or their lawn mowed for the summer or games at the local golf course.
There are a many 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 spot. Remember, this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans 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 American working guy? Try Brian Warner at Brian Automotive Service (714) 272-6326... he's mobile so he'll come to you!
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day. My computer could use a tune-up, and I happen to know a guy who would appreciate additional business to keep his repair business up and running. Ask Erik Computer Services offers a 22 point check up that makes a perfect gift.
Honestly, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar 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 American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new Seal Beach Christmas tradition.
Do you know of great local gifts? Share your ideas in the comments!