The "Made in America" Holiday Shopping Challenge we started way back in September at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture is in full swing now. ABC News has jumped on board and done an amazing job of raising awareness about how much we as consumers can do to provide jobs in our communities, just by "buying American".
Their favorite statistic is that the average American spends $700 on Christmas gifts each year and if only $64 of that was used for American made gifts, we could create 200,000 jobs. So the question in, "Are you IN?"
We've been finding a lot of great American made stuff in our own back yards at local shops, craft fairs and farmer's markets. But since a lot of things on your list won't be available locally, we've got some great American gift ideas for you on our Facebook like:
* For the kids– American Flyer Sleds
* For Mom– Colorful bud vases from Fiestaware
* For Dad– Rugged tool sets from Channellock
* For Aunt Clara– Handwoven baskets by Longaberger Basket
* For the art lover– Creative gifts from $10- $5000 at The Art of Making a Difference
Have other ideas or American made gift suggestions? Post them on our American Made Christmas Shopping Facebook Event. We ARE making a difference. Jobs are starting to come back. What was is that Margaret Mead once said… something about "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
I am really sorry if, like us, you were watching for a segment on our Made in America Christmas Challenge tonight. We weren't there I just asked the producer what happened and she explained that time constraints prevented our segment from being aired on schedule. I guess this is not unusual as the news is never predictable. Anyway, Christine assured me that our segment is still in the works and will be aired in the near future. She will let me know when that is and I'll post it here and on our facebook.
Don't forget to tune in (or set your DVR) to ABC World News with Diane Sawyer at 6:30pm EST TONIGHT to see our crazy Christmas Shopping Challenge in patriotic Vernon, Vermont. All your favorite American-made shopping stalwarts will be featured from the Town Hall, the Firestation, the Vernon elementary school, the Portside Tavern, Malhana Farm and Vermont Woods Studios Furniture (home of 100% American made, wood furniture).
Here's the premsie: Americans will spend, on average $700 per person on Christmas and holiday gifts this year. If we allocated just $64 of that to American made gifts, we would generate 200,000 jobs, nation-wide. So the question is: Are you IN?
If you're IN, then get counted by joining us at our Made in America Holiday Shopping virtual Facebook event (it's just a mouse click– you don't have to actually show up anywhere). Thanks for joining us and be sure to share (on our Facebook) any cool things you find in your shopping adventures!
I'm really not an early Christmas shopper. In fact I'm not a shopper at all. When the kids were little they used to like to holiday shop at the local craft fair… that was fun. But the boys are teenagers now and I can't imagine getting them to do that anymore. A couple times in recent years, I was able to convince Ken and the boys to make an overnight holiday shopping trip to Boston where we wandered around downtown and at the Wrentham Mall picking up a few gifts. I enjoyed that but the kids seem to have outgrown any kind of activity that involves parents.
Anyway… yesterday in the office, Dennis floated the idea of buying only American made things for Christmas presents. Pretty cool idea, don't you think?
But the thing is, this is shopping we can't leave till the last minute. It will take a bit of research and planning. Isn't it ironic that many American made gifts would have to be purchased online and shipped here from across the country, whereas imports are available anytime, in every store in town, at a moment's notice?
So at Vermont Woods Studios we'll plan to start our shopping now and share our research with you as we go. Saturday I tagged along with Annette at the Brattleboro Farmer's Market. That's probably a reasonable place to start… maple syrup, handmade pottery, wooden bowls.
Why not join us in our "Buy American Made" Holiday Gifts Challenge? If you have gift suggestions, pass them along in the comment section below or send photos and links and we'll post here or on our Facebook page.
They say that if each of us in the USA spent just $3.33 on American made goods, that would generate 10,000 jobs… a pretty decent Christmas present in itself, I say.