Thursday, December 10, 2009

Diary of an American Shopper - Days 17 - 39

Woah - what happened? Last I wrote I was blissfully in the throws of pre-Thanksgiving challenge. And now, the holiday season is upon us and that means gift giving - and that gets my Made in the USA brain into a tizzy.

So, let me give you a bit of a re-cap. I have succeed in many gifts that I gave this year - my family likes pottery and pottery can be made my local artisans. Awesome. My family likes Christmas ornaments - and these too can be painted and crafted by American hands. My family loves Star Wars. Hmmmm...this complicates things. What am I to do? Do I purchase something with a drawing of the Millennium Falcon by good old American artists, or do I go with the officially licensed more desirable choice?

This brings up a very important question that I have been forced to deal with. How far does this challenge extend? Am I really going to give everyone arts and crafts including my friend Jim who shares a tradition with me. Every birthday and Christmas, we exchange gifts that are about Elvis. This has brought some very interesting artifacts into my collection - a 1970s bust of the king looks down on me from the top of my bookcase (made in germany - but hand molded. awesome!), an elvis cutting board gets used underneath my vegetables in my kitchen (made in the UK) and elvis jewelry (made I'm not sure where). See a theme here?

I just read the book A Year Without "Made in China" by Sara Bongiorni. She and her family decided to take on a boycott of everything "Made in China" for one year. I read it, and was very impressed on what she did considering she has children and most toys are Made in China. When I read this book, I realized that I didn't ever utter the word boycott, but I want to take this challenge seriously. So I thought long and hard about my choices.

I spoke with people. I received doubt and concern - My friend Matt and I discussed the fact that the Support the Troops car magnets are Made in China (that one hit the hardest.), but mostly, I heard support and that is what is keeping me going.

I've decided to do my best. I am going to buy my brother in law and one of my best friends the real deal - that means not Made in the USA, but it's what they really want. Their gifts will be supplemented by American made goodies. I've decided to also research countries that have good trade relations with our own, so next year I can make a more conscious and informed decision.

The way I look at it, If I'm giving a gift - I'd rather it stay with the person I'm giving it to rather than wind up in some trash can and contribute to the whole waste problem....but wait that's another blog.

I mark days 17 - 39 very illuminating

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