Friday, November 25, 2011

Occupy Shopping

[Updated: 28 April 2012]
Thanks to Richard Seifert for observing
that the logo on my bright red vintage gift box
derives from the golden detail on the case of the
Wanamaker Organ


Souvenir Shadow Box from Philadelphia

Top: a pencil drawing of the revered old
John Wanamaker's Department Store
(a gift to us from American Picture Framing, Inc., Philadelphia)

Bottom: a Wanamaker's Christmas Gift Box
(discovered in the attic when we moved to Philadelphia,
left behind by previous owners)

Detail of Drawing

I don't know who wrote the following call to action or where it originates; in my case, thanks go to my brother Aaron for first bringing it to my attention a few weeks ago. I've seen some longer versions floating around the internet, but here's a shorter, blog - length version that you might like (well, not all that short!):

Occupy Gift - Giving
With the holidays upon us, the giant commercial machine has kicked into high gear to provide us all with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods. How about something different this year? You don't have to go out shopping the day after Thanksgiving if you don't want to. In lieu of the over - hyped Black Friday approach, how about giving the gift of genuine concern for others to your friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens. It's time to think outside the gift - box! There is no excuse for not choosing something that has been produced locally and seasonally by someone in your community. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box or be covered in costly wrapping paper?

Remember the lesson of "It's A Wonderful Life"? The Christmas Spirit is about caring for our neighbors who make their livings in the U. S. economy and 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. Lets Occupy Christmas with this attitude! Let's create a revolution of caring about each other! Isn't that what Christmas is about?

Gift Giving Ideas:
In every community, there are numerous owner-run restaurants -- some plain, some fancy -- all offering gift certificates. An elegant dinner date would be a great surprise; or half a dozen breakfasts at the local diner. Remember, this isn't about big national chains -- this is about supporting your hometown restaurants!

How about an oil change for car, truck, or motorcycle at a nearby garage? Small, American-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a single - use gift certificate or a book of gift certificates to be used throughout the year.

A computer tune-up from a young technologist who is struggling to get a new repair business up and running.

Lawn mowing, snow removal, and housecleaning services.

Gift certificates from your locally owned hair salon or barber.

Gym membership or games at the local golf course.

Local crafts, wool, scarves, jewelry, soap, pottery, beautiful wooden boxes, and holiday decorations.

Tickets to a play or ballet at your hometown theater; or a night out at the local jazz club or comedy club.

Holiday outings at local, owner-operated clubs and restaurants (including a nice tip for your servers).

Think of it this way: when you buy a five dollar string of lights, only about fifty cents stays in the community. Instead, how about spending the entire $5 locally in the form of a nice big tip for your mail carriers, trash removers, or baby sitters?"

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentle Folk!Detail of Logo

"Let those who
follow me continue
to build with the plumb of honor
the level of truth and
the square of
integrity education
courtesy & mutuality."

~ John Wanamaker, 1838 - 1922 ~
[click to see in-store photo]

Wanamaker was an innovative, enlightened retailer,
showing his fellow department store owners how to
"Occupy Shopping" in the late 18th Century.
For more on Wanamaker's Creed
see Marketing Methods and Salesmanship
by Ralph Starr Butler

On the wall behind us:
Wanamaker Shadowbox DisplayGer & Kit

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