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!
It was only a couple days ago that Shannon ran into my office with a look of total disbelief on her face, saying that someone named Christine Brozyna, a producer from ABC World News with Diane Sawyer would like to talk to us about our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge.
Wow! I thought WE worked hard at Vermont Wood Studios. In 5 days these people read all about us on the Internet, liked our company and our drive, dreamed up a segment about us for their national news show, gathered up a camera crew, drove up to Vernon VT and spent the whole day today filming our story. It was a whilrwind and I'm not quite sure if I've been dreaming myself, but I have to say today was pretty exciting, either way.
- We did a 10AM shoot at the Schoolhouse General Store with the new manager, Chad Mulverhill, his family and Cindy Falvey. At first we were the only ones on scene so we all had to call everyone we knew, in desperation and beg them to rush down and help us make it look like a good crowd. Our friends came through
- Then we migrated over to the Town Hall at noon for what Christine imagined as a "Huge" crowd scene. Well, I guess huge is a relative term, but I can truthfully say this was a HUGE crowd for Vernon. Linda Shippee had all the pre-school kids there with a Thanksgiving banner they had made. Most of the town employees were there. Several good people from VY came over. And a ton of other people who wanted to support the project came… just to be nice and see what was going on.
- Next was a 2pm segment at the Vernon Elementary School where the principal, Mark Speno let us be a part of the kids' Sock Hop, an amazing assembly in the cafeteria where the teachers we all know and love taught the chicken dance, the swim and the pony to the kids
- Next stop– the Vernon Fire Station where Chief Todd Capan and 3 other brave fire fighters assembled in front of the camera, listened to our spiel and were good-natured enough to give a Made in America shout-out for the producers
- The last shop was Chad Woodruff's Custom Furniture Workshop. Chad is one of Vermont's finest furniture makers and we are so lucky to be able to work with him. The camera crew filmed Chad and his staff woodworking and also did a nice interview with Chad where we learned (among other things) that he can tell the difference between an imported piece of furniture and an American made piece from 10 feet away.
Thanks also to the local media who came out to capture the event. I love this behind the scenes video posted by Zach Stephens at The Brattleboro Reformer.
I hope you get to see all of this on Wednesday when it airs on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer at 6:30pm. Everywhere we went today, the producers set up the scene so we were telling people about our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge and asking them to join us. We honestly had no earthly idea how this was going to play out and we're so grateful to everyone for supporting us in our ignorance.
I can't image how they're going to boil 10 hours of filming down to 3 minutes but I trust that the genius of Christine and Eric Noll (the other producer) will prevail and everything will come out just fine. That's Christine and Eric above with Tom and Mark, the camera crew. They had us getting our picture taken holding the Made in America sign all day, so we wanted to turn the tables on them and get a photo of them holding a sign of our choice– a promotional sign for Woodruff Custom Furniture.
If you made it to this page, and even to the bottom of this page– we're sending out a big THANK you to all of you from ABC. We look forward to seeing you again, closer to Christmas. Come and check out all our American Made finds!