A New Spin on Holiday Traditions

Everyday Changes from The Orinda News

How much energy do you spend on planning, preparing and presenting your family holiday party?  You can mitigate holiday stress by minimizing the amount of energy you spend. I don’t mean compromising your holiday tradition but rather sharing the planning, preparation and presentation with other family members.

Why not use this season to create a new tradition of sharing, collaboration and family participation?

Birth a New Holiday Tradition

I received an email from a family member excerpts of which I just had to pass on.

This year instead of purchasing cheaply-made goods from overseas, why not concentrate on giving gifts and services made right here in the good old USA. It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box?

Everyone gets his or her hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber? What about a spa or gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate having their car detailed? Small, American-owned detail shops and 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 plunking down the Benjamins on a foreign-made flat-screen? Perhaps your recipient would like his or her driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or games at the local golf course.

There are bazillion owner-run restaurants –all offering gift certificates right here in Orinda. And, if your intended receiver isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the Orinda Village Café for example?

Remember, folks this isn’t about big national chains — this is about supporting your hometown merchants, many with their financial lives on the line.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle? Our very own Orinda Motors, Shell, Chevron or Flying A gas stations would be happy to accommodate.

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Wouldn’t she just love to be pampered for a day. Think spa gift certificate and make the gift even more special when you buy one for yourself and join your mom in a mother-daughter day at the spa. For a one-of-a-kind creative gift, try one of the many local crafts fairs and help out a struggling artist at the same time.

For your holiday entertaining, check out the local plays, ballets and musical events listed in the calendar on page 17 of this newspaper. And, remember to plan your holiday outings at local 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.

By following this new tradition, we can help American small businesses 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 American Holiday tradition — a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what the season is about?  May your holidays be heavenly!

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