That's you! Let's be honest. If you're reading this, you can probably count yourself among the "ones who have everything" right? And your friends and family are in that group too. OK, I'm not trying to be a big grinch and stomp down on all our Cyber Weekend shopping fun. I'm just suggesting that some of the frenzy whipped up over these unbelievable deals is a bit contrived– maybe you and those on your List don't really need or want an extra flat screen TV anyway.
So what to buy that would have some meaning?
Here's a short list of my Top 4 Favorite Christmas and Holiday Gifts:
- A $20 donation to Heifer International could offer an education (and a new world) to a child otherwise doomed to a life of poverty in a third world country. If you can read this story about Beatrice Biira and not be inspired to swap a goat or flock of chickens for the Blu-ray player, I'll be surprised.
- For the animal lovers on your list, what could be more thoughtful than the World Wildlife Fund symbolic adoption of an endangered species? Tigers are my favorite animals and they are among the most critically endangered species on earth, but WWF offers over 100 adoption choices from Red Eyed Tree Frog to the Ring Tailed Lemur. Adoption gifts include a stuffed animal, a personalized, framed adoption certificate and a photo of the animal in the wild. These are fun for kids and adults alike.
- Do you have any outdoor enthusiasts on your list? How about an acre of rainforest for them? The Nature Conservancy has several gift options including adopting an acre of rainforest in Costa Rica, planting trees in Brazil and adopting hummingbirds. I should mention too that TNC has a cool Green Gift Monday webpage with all kinds of ideas for gifting repsonsibly.
- Swimmers? Surfers? Sailors? Definitely check out Oceana's Marine Wildlife Adoption and Gift Center and adopt a whale, turtle, shark, octopus, penguin or whatever your favorite ocean species is.
The best part is that there's no Black Friday or Cyber Monday RUSH on buying these items. But… you could take a big load off your shoulders and get everything done today. Then you could relax and enjoy the rest of the Christmas season in peace– what a concept!
Earlier this year I wrote a blog which I hoped would inspire a “Buy American Made Products” movement but with a new twist. I thought that the upcoming holiday season would be the perfect time to raise awareness that there still are some great American Made products.
After all this is the time of year when shopping is going full force. So if there ever was power in numbers this would be the time to really make a difference!
I began my research into American Made Products that would make good holiday gifts and I was both surprised and pleased to find that this was not as difficult as I first envisioned. Certainly at some point most of us have commented on the overwhelmingly high percentage of imported products we see on our stores shelves. And how product quality has diminished as well.
I realize that there is some perception that US made product is just too expensive but when you factor in its quality and lasting power over “cheap” imports it actually may prove to be a bargain! Buy it right, and buy it once I say.
I was also very pleased to find that most of the companies I had discovered were started in America long ago, understood offshore production savings or felt economic pressure to manufacture offshore, but firmly resisted this based on a core belief of contributing to the US economy and an unwillingness to diminish quality. Those companies I commend, and those companies’ products I will purchase! They are indeed out there and they deserve our business.
It has been both a fun and enlightening project and I was quite surprised and happy to find good old American made products that my family and friends could use and enjoy. And as a matter of fact I book marked a few dozen websites for things for myself in the process! So Santa, if you are reading this….
Below are some American Made gift ideas I found during my first pass I would like to share with you and I plan on updating this blog post throughout the holiday season.
- Well you may have thought any type of US produced clothing would be hard to find but it’s out there! And who hasn’t gotten or given pajamas as a gift! Check out Vermont Flannel. BTW… I actually was given a VF shirt and shorts about 10 years ago. Still have and still wear them! And it doesn’t look like they are going to wear out anytime soon! http://www.vermontflannel.com/index
- What’s more American then blue jeans, right? But blue jeans made in America these days? No way you say! While the famous brands packed up their US factories long ago, there are some little guys refusing to budge! Check out Texas Jeans http://www.texasjean.com/ and All American Clothing http://www.allamericanclothing.com
- Hmm, I suppose when you need to grab a flashlight you must be in a REAL need for light? So the one that you have to keep smacking in the palm of your hand to stay on may not be the best choice! And how much of a bargain is it in that situation? Well there’s a USA Made MAGLITE in my home, all my vehicles glove boxes, and in my backpacks & camping gear. Turns on, stays on EVERY time! TIP: The little MAGLITE Solitaire attaches to a key chain and is a great stocking stuffer! http://www.maglite.com/
- No “handy-person” would be disappointed to get a top notch pocket or belt multi-tool. This extremely handy gadget was pioneered by “Leatherman” almost 30 years ago and has been evolving ever since (and is probably one of the most copied inventions of the century!) Now they have an ingenious multi-tool for almost every activity and function. http://www.leatherman.com/
- Something for the little ones? How about some good old fashion wooden toys? Don’t think they make them like they use too? Well then check out the award winning line of wood toys by Maple Landmark. Lots of fun stuff for kids of all ages and you can personalize them with the child's name! http://www.maplelandmark.com/
- Need a gift idea that suits all ages? Or something that the whole family can participate in? How about the classic jigsaw puzzle! From 60 piece children’s puzzles to 2000 piece challenges for the master puzzler, Springbok is the oldest and most respected brand name puzzle manufactured in the USA (and they get another vote from us for having environmentally friendly manufacturing practices!) They have a great sorting & categorizing feature on their website to make finding the perfect puzzle quick & easy! http://www.springbok-puzzles.com/
So I hope I have inspired you to consider this holiday gift theme for your family and friends gatherings, office party, secret Santa, or Yankee Swaps. And please feel free to share your findings or events by joining our Facebook event. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you a Happy Holiday season!