20 Ways to Occupy the Holidays

Here’s a great way to put the Spirit back into the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice Season this year, whether you’re religious or otherwise.

  • Buy American.  Help an American keep her or his job by buying what he or she earns a living producing.
  • Buy local. Begin taking Main Street back from Wall $treet. 
  • Spend less.  Make it.  Bake it.  Repair it.  Repaint it.

With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s a perfect time to tell family members who gather to celebrate Turkey Day what you expect from them this Christmas time, and what you do not prefer this year.

Here’s a list to help jump start your imagination:

1)   Tell them this Holiday Season that in your home the things they make themselves will be more highly prized than anything they can purchase.

2)   If you think you’re not handy, or cannot make it, cook it or restore and recycle it, then buy things which other Americans made, from local shops which are American owned and operated.


3)  For instance: buy your gifts from local artists, farmers markets, bakers, craftspeople and candy makers! Try gift certificates from barbers, hair dressers, restaurants, car detailers, gyms or local theater tickets.  Once you put your mind to it, the list that bubbles forth is endless!

4)  Let everyone know, politely but firmly in no uncertain terms, that mass-produced stuff from Wangladesh or Hembucktu is not acceptable this year. 

5)  This Holiday Season Share the Wealth (what little there is of it) with those closest to home, by NOT supporting corporations who ship American jobs overseas to increase profits for the 1%.  If neither Scrooge Congress nor the President can create jobs in America, show them how you can pitch in to do your part.

6)  It’s time we the 99% began taking care of ourselves, and the best way is to cut out the middle-men, the top-dogs, the fat-cats, and the foreign producers who run out-of-sight sweatshops using child labor.

7)  Spend where your money stays in America, circulates in America, and creates jobs in America.

8)  That goes down even to things like Christmas wrappings made wherever overseas.  Start saving your Sunday comic sections to use for colorful wrapping paper at Christmas, made in America, and recycled in America.

9)  Stop shopping WallyWorld and other BIG BOX franchise importers who have for decades forced American companies to open plants outside the US, exporting jobs for more profit to the 1%.  After they choke on the mass of imported stuff they ordered back last Summer, you can pick up things at pennies on the dollar after the New Year to put aside for later gift giving, like birthdays.  If they can manipulate markets, so can we: don’t buy it.

10)  Boycott anything made or sold by right-wingnut tea party financiers like the billionaire KOCH Brothers and Art Pope (Roses, Maxway, Value Mart, Super 10 and Super Dollar (though not Dollar General), among others owned by Variety Wholesalers Inc.)  Here’s a good reference: http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/2603#list

Boycott War Profiteers when you can: http://zerowar.org/usaboycottlist.htm
Links about Boycotts: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Boycott

11)  Get to know your extended neighborhood: the folks right here at home who spend their lives making beautiful things:  potters, weavers, musicians, glass blowers, book writers, organic farmers, fishermen, bakers, florists, woodworkers, orchardists, cheese makers, ballon twisters, and on and on — but only buy stuff made in America.

12)  Buying USED things sends NO profit back to the manufacturer, no matter where.  Buying used Chinese goods from a thrift shop, yard sale or a friend, sends nothing back to communist China, and supports folks right here in the USA.

13)  During the other Great Depression, which my parents and your grandparents lived through, they survived by doing exactly this, and more.  When ‘new’ was not available, or not affordable, they repaired, fixed up, re-painted and made useable things out of discards. 

14)  Re-gifting is IN.  Closets and attics full of stuff that someone gave you that you never use is great to Re-gift.  (It would be good if you can remember who gave it to you, so as not to re-gift the gifter!)

15)  And heirloom gifting is IN. This is a great year to pass on things memorable and meaningful to the next generation.  And take time to write a story so your piece of history is preserved.

16)  While you’re cleaning out storage areas to rediscover what’s hiding there, make a pile of stuff you cannot re-gift or make into something else, and pass it on to local Thrift Shops who help your neighbors in need. Set a goal: reduce stuff in storage by a third.

17)  At the time of first publishing this on 11/11/11, there are 6 weeks until Winter Solstice Holiday Season, plenty of time to plan, discover, make, dream, explore, enjoy, and turn this Holiday into the best one you and your family may ever have together.

18)  Use the internet to help you discover things you can make on your own. Try this:

19)  Surprise your family by how inventive and creative you can be!  Six weeks is plenty of time to do things you always keep putting off, til SomedayIsle, or when IgetaRoundTuit.

20)  You can do this for whatever reason you choose.  Maybe buying American makes you feel patriotic.  Maybe making things for others is a joy.  Maybe doing your part to drain a little profit from the TransNational Corporations of Wall $treet helps you to feel like a more loyal American.  Whatever motivates you, that’s a Reason for the Season!

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