USA for Jesus’s Day

Remember our little oath to not buy anything made in China for Christmas? Well ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to report that we made it through the holiday season with (mostly) China free purchases! Now, since this was our first year with this little experiment, we viewed the entire process more as an educational opportunity vs. a hard core ultimatum. Our main goal was to support local economies as much as possible, by keeping our hard earned cash in our neighbors pocket vs. ya know – not our neighbor in some far away land that by the time our money mackerels make it over, the actual craftsmen gets like a half penny. No good.

Since we learned a lot during our shopping adventures, and found lots of fun new things, I thought I’d share some of our favorite American made goodies that we discovered with all of you! πŸ™‚

Gifts Made in the USA

Now we tried to buy as many local products as we could, but it’s actually kinda hard to find loot that’s not made in Chinatown. Turns out, we’ve got this whole quality of life expectation over here in the U.S. of A. where we expect people to get paid more than ten cents an hour, novel concept, right? πŸ˜‰ So when we started checking tags to see where the things we were buying were made, it was pretty rare to find one that said USA on it. With a few notable exceptions.

Like Burt’s Bees – made right here in ‘Merica, people! Burt’s Bee’s just happens to be one of my favorite chapstick companies, so I thought that was pretty darn cool.

Gifts Made in America

Another cosmetic item that I was pleasantly surprised to see with an American sticker was this nail polish I got from Ulta for both my sisters. Perhaps it’s an FDA thing or something, not sure, but a lot of the cosmetics I saw seemed to be made domestically.

Cosmetics Made in USA

This one might be cheating a bit, but my sister’s boyfriend is a beer fan, so we selected flavors from a bunch of different (mostly local, all domestic) beer manufacturers.

Craft Beer

Along with his beer, we also got him this sweet little ornament (made in Hungary, actually), from Bronner’s up in Frankenmuth. Have you ever been to that crazy place? It’s INSANE.

Hoppy Christmas

I also was on the receiving end of some pretty sweet American made gifts. Remember this? Well looks like someone (ahem, Jay’s parents) were listening because look what Mary got for Christmas!

Stone and Cloth Purse

Chic, no? It’s super sturdy, too, so I think it will definitely stand the test of time. I also got these sweet socks which have a life time (!) warranty from Darn Tough. I got a pair from both my parents and Jay and they are so, so comfortable!

Socks Made in USA

I was also able to find this light for the hubster, which is USB charging so he doesn’t have to worry about it losing juice on his ride home and not be bright enough for cars to see him (very important detail, gotta keep my man safe!). We’ve had a super difficult time finding any electronics made in the US, and this one is! It’s available at REI, if of interest. πŸ˜€

I think one of his favorite gifts this year, were these little bags made in the US out of recycled bike tires that he got from my parents. The kid can’t stop talking about the bag. He’s a little cray-cray over it.

Bike Bag Made in USA

So overall, I would say we were 90% China free this year. Granted, that doesn’t mean everything we purchased was American made, but being aware of what we were stuffing into our carts was the first step toward changing our long term shopping habits. Did anyone else try to buy local this year? What cool things did you find for loved ones on your list?

 

5 thoughts on “USA for Jesus’s Day

  1. LOVE this!!!

    For Cassius, we stick with a lot of wood, american made toys (big Melissa & Doug fans over here).They are quality and last (he still has, and plays with, toys from his first Christmas, and when he outgrows them, we will pass them on.

    Quality toys DO cost a little more, but I find that buying him 3 or 4 really nice, quality toys is actually preferable to 8-10 cheap plastic ones. 1. They see way more use, honestly. 2. With less toys, he can find and enjoy the toys he has, instead of being overwhelmed by a sea of plastic. 3. No migraine inducing sounds or flashing lights (this is more of a “parent bonus”).

    This year I tried to do more “local” than years past, and bought him most of his toys from the local toy store in Howell (Razzmatazz) and also a toy store in Ann Arbor we like.

    Another thing is mom2mom sales, thrift stores, garage sales, etc. Buying a used toy is WAY more sustainable than something new, plus you save $$$. I got Cash this cool wooden alphabet thing at Salvation Army for $2.00. I had been eyeing something similar at Target for about $15. And trust me, kids DO NOT CARE if the thing comes in its original packaging.

    This isn’t to say that he doesn’t have a sac of mega blocks or some batman figurines (all very kind gifts from other people). And who knows what we will do when he is older and comes home requesting a specific toy.

    So anyway, we have things pretty much down pat in the kid department, but I confess we are not as careful of shoppers when it comes to each other. Next year I will be following your lead!!!

    Pinning this πŸ™‚

  2. Oh my gosh! New reader here, and TOTALLY dorking out on this post! A goal I have for this year is to investigate the whole made in China “thing.” After purposefully going to some of my favorite stores and looking on the back, I was both shocked and extremely disappointed to find nearly all of them were made in China, or another country with inhumane business laws. Anywho, I look forward to following you! From one design (and made-in-USA) loving gal to another, thank you!

    ps – here is a website I just found. Some lovely skirts, dresses & occasional clutches, all proudly made in the US of A! Yay hooray! http://www.dresscorilynn.com

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