Gifts of services

You hear a lot about how your Christmas shopping will help to save the economy. I’m not so sure; we got into this mess by overspending, after all. But let’s face it: buying trinkets that were made in China from a low-overhead retailer isn’t going to create many American jobs. If you want to help, give gifts of services this year. Massages, theater tickets, nights out, dance lessons, even babysitting. For the more practical and less romantic, how about gifts of oil changes, or legal or tax advice (to someone who grumbles that they need it). Anything that puts cash in the hands of someone local, who can then spend it again locally.