The latest whispers from Washington say that we're starting to pull out of this whopper of an economic crisis. As the holiday season and the demand on the pocketbook it brings with it looms before us, I think we can all agree that this is good news.
We've all made sacrifices since our economy lurched to a standstill a few years ago. Some of us have turned to couponing to feed our families, others have given up their cable TV and still more were forced to downsize, or were downsized themselves.
That we're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel is like stumbling upon an oasis in a sprawling desert. It seems we can't wait to get back to life as usual.
Here's an idea. Rather than shop as we once did by heading to the malls or the monolithic, big-box mega-stores, check out what local shops, restaurants and other service providers have to offer instead.
After all, your dad doesn't need another bottle of Old Spice (unless you're my dad - in that case, you probably do), the kids don't need yet more plastic toys and Mom doesn't want yet another gift basket from the store that rhymes with Bath & Body Schworks.
She'll only re-gift it as a Secret Santa gift at church next Christmas. Trust me. I know these things.
Here's some more food for thought: For every $100 spent at a chain store, just $14 stays in the local community, according to the Tulsa Area Independent Business Alliance. Spend that same Benjamin at a locally owned store and $45 - more than 320 percent more - stays here in town.
I'm sure that folks employed by local businesses that have been forced to scale back on pay and benefits could appreciate the value of a three-fold impact on the community in which they operate.
Thinking along these lines, I've decided to put together the first-ever Tasha Does Tulsa holiday gift guide. Each day from now until Christmas Eve I'll post about a product or service sold or produced here in the Tulsa area that'd look totally rad under (or, on) the Christmas tree.
Or, in a Christmas stocking. Or, on the Christmas dinner table. Or, out in the driveway (or, in the bike rack). You get the idea.
All entries in the TDT Gift Guide can be accessed by clicking a bright, shiny button that I'll make for the top of the right sidebar. Check back often, folks, as there's bound to be something new and wish list-worthy waiting for you there.
You might even find a chance to win free stuff - stuff to use as holiday gifts for loved ones, for yourself, or ways to live life to the fullest in Tulsa this holiday season. Just about anything goes, so man your mouses and get ready to enter some contests and giveways.
While the line-up in this parade of local gifts is pretty much set, I'm still open to learning about gifts that might have escaped my attention. If you come across a find that's too good not to share, e-mail me. We'll spread Christmas cheer together, perhaps over a cup of eggnog.
Because I'm always available for a cup of eggnog.
Look for the first featured gift to show up at the top of this page at some point tomorrow. Until then, happy pre-Thanksgiving cooking (or, in my case, bite-sneakin' and beater-lickin' and putting out fires with the help of this Thanksgiving dinner survival guide at Ttownmoms.com).