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Every purchase we make reflects our values, and what better time than the Holidays to make your gift buying count? The average American will spend $738 on Holiday gifts this year. If half of this was spent on gifts made in USA we could create one million American jobs. The American Made Holiday Gift Guide offers a solution to the challenge of finding American made gifts. The guide provides the conscious consumer with a place to find items that support our economy, protect the environment and give back to your community.

Ready to take the challenge to buy Holiday gifts made in USA this year? The American Made Holiday Gift Guide is a compilation of carefully curated American made gift ideas that you can give with pride. 3


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Last year thousands took the challenge to spend $64 on made in USA gifts to create an additional 200,000 jobs. This year, I’m upping the ante to make an even bigger impact. The average American will spend $738 on Holiday gifts this year (source). If we spent half of this amount on gifts made in USA we could create one million American jobs (source). So I challenge you to spend half of your Holiday budget, no matter what the amount, on American made gifts.

The American Made Holiday Gift Guide will make the challenge easy and fun. Check out the following collection of gift ideas including toys, gifts for kids and babies, gifts for him and her, jewelry, accessories, food and drink, seasonal products, gifts for the home and more. I hope you will join me in making this a Made in America Holiday!

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6 Alternatives to Black Friday: Gift Giving to Feel Good About (read online)

Skip Black Friday in favor of shopping you can feel good about. This year several big box chain stores have made headlines by choosing to begin Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day. These chain stores mostly carry imported goods and do little to support their local communities. Workers, often paid less than a living wage, are forced to work and forego sacred time with family.

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I encourage you to enjoy Thanksgiving without thought to the “door busters” awaiting hoards of shoppers. Don’t shop on Thanksgiving, and chose not to contribute to the demand that fuels these Black Friday sales. Instead, enjoy the day sharing gratitude with friends and family and celebrating the true meaning of the holiday. Many Black Friday alternatives have surfaced, creating unified shopping experiences that use consumers’ purchasing power positively. Check out these alternatives to Black Friday sales. Handmade Monday – November 25

Handmade Monday is a new initiative started on Facebook to encourage homemade gift giving. Slated to launch the Monday before Thanksgiving, this campaign is about supporting artisans and crafters. A handmade gift is the product of the time, talent and energy of an artist creating something they love. You can shop for handmade gifts online at aftcra, a new online marketplace featuring only goods handmade in America. Etsy has long been a staple for buying handmade, but recent policy changes now allow the sale of products manufactured elsewhere, so shop with caution. The American Made Holiday Gift Guide features many handmade gift ideas that can be purchased online. You can shop 12


locally by visiting local arts and crafts fairs. Buy Nothing Day – November 29

Buy Nothing Day is a campaign to encourage consumers to boycott the whole concept of Black Friday. The season of gift giving has become tainted in America by this infamous day of frenzied shopping. The excitement over Black Friday can quickly turn into an ugly display of greed. By deliberately choosing to buy nothing the day after Thanksgiving, we can choose not to buy into the pressure to find the best deals. The product of AdBusters, an anti-consumerist organization famous for their spoof ads, Buy Nothing Day involves complete abstinence from spending any money for a 24 hour period. Instead, reserve this day to enjoy time with friends and family sharing feelings of gratitude. Our purchases can be used to stimulate the economy in positive ways, but surely we can designate at least one day without consumption.

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Small Business Saturday – November 30

Small Business Saturday is a growing movement to encourage shopping at small, independently owned, local businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Now in its fourth year, the day to shop small was created by American Express and has gone viral. Many small businesses offer discounts and other promotions to entice customers. In addition, American Express card holders receive a $10 credit on their account to spend at a local small business. Supporting these local shops is a reinvestment in your community, creating local jobs and giving the economy a boost. Your town’s Mom and Pop shops create a vibrant and prosperous community, and rival any shopping experience you could get at a chain or mall store. You can find local small businesses using this online map.

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Cyber Monday – December 2

Cyber Monday has grown to become the biggest day for online shopping. While the fundamental concept of Cyber Monday may be questionable, the great deals you can find online feature many opportunities for scoring American made gifts. Shopping from the comfort of your home beats standing in line fighting for Black Friday sales. Shopping online is also one of the easiest ways to find gifts made in USA. For a list of links made in USA companies online check the Made in America Master List, updated regularly. The last few years I have compiled a list of tons Cyber Monday sales on Made in USA gifts. This year you will find even more deals, including exclusive promotions from the American Made Holiday Gift Guide.

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Fair Tuesday – December 3

Fair Tuesday is a day to celebrate gifts made ethically by global artisans and educate shoppers about conscious consumerism. When an American made product I need is not available, I rely on the fair trade certification for the security it offers in protecting human rights, labor laws and respecting the environment. Fair trade is also a great way to access the market of handcrafted goods made globally that can help empower workers living in impoverished areas. Fair Tuesday is about exploring options to purchase ethically made, sustainable gifts handcrafted around the world. You can find fair trade gifts online through Global Goods and Green America. Locally, you can find fair trade goods at shops like Ten Thousand Villages.

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Giving Tuesday – December 3

Giving Tuesday is about creating a call of action to establish coordinated giving, much in the way retailers coordinate Black Friday sales. Retailers, charities and organizations come together to inspire a day of giving and celebration of the American traditions of philanthropy and volunteerism. To get involved, start researching non-profits and charities you might choose to support with a donation. Find ways you can get involved with volunteering in your area to give back to your own community. Look for gifts from companies that reflect your values and give back by donating a portion of their sales to charity. Spread the word about the importance of giving back and join in the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #givingtuesday.

This Holiday season, feel good about shopping for gifts by choosing to participate in Black Friday Alternatives. Consider buying American made gifts, shopping locally, and giving back. There are many ways to make your Holidays more meaningful by using your consumer power. Make sure you use that power for good.

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Top Ten Ways to Occupy the Holidays (read online) Who hasn’t felt stressed out when looking for the perfect gift for a loved one of their list? The closer we get to Black Friday, scoring the best deals becomes increasingly more urgent. As we move into December, the malls will become crowded with shoppers searching for last minute deals and bargains to share on Christmas Day. Gift giving is an honored tradition that gives you the opportunity to share joy with those you care most deeply for. But now more than ever, we need to make sure our purchases are meaningful. Let’s take some time to reconsider out shopping habits. Here is a simple list of ten things you can do to “Occupy the Holidays” this year. Simplify your celebrations and use your consumer power to invest in your local community.

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1. Buy American. Support local jobs, buy gifts from the many awesome American-made options available.

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2. Shop locally. Visit your local independent shops and help reinvest in your own community. 3. Buy handmade. Everyone loves receiving a unique handcrafted gift. Check out local craft fairs and Etsy. 4. Do it yourself! If you are so inclined, share your talents through homemade art, baked goods and craft creations. 5. Buy used. Keep it out of the landfill! Check Craigslist and consignment sales for steals on used products in excellent condition. 6. Give service gifts. Lessons, classes, memberships to museums or tickets to a theatre all make fun gifts. 7. Choose gifts that give back. Charitable giving in recognition of your loved one sends an important message. 8. Cook holiday meals with local foods. Hit your local farmer’s market before they close up shop for the season! 9. Buy with cash. Using cash instead of using credit cards helps you stay on budget and prevents the big banks from further profiting from your hard earned money. 10. Spend less. Budgeting is extremely important. Only spend what you can afford. No one wants you to go into debt for their gift. Create a budget and stick to it.

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A New Year’s Resolution – Buy Made in USA (read online) Most New Year’s Resolutions are about personal sacrifice or going without. This New Year, I offer America a resolution you can feel good about – buying made in USA. As your guide, I will show you how buying locally made products in 2013 can be done, and how it can change your life.

When I began my challenge to find and buy American made goods in 2011, I originally saw my quest in terms of what I had to give up. But years later what started as an experiment in consumerism has turned into a lifestyle change. Buying made in USA has made my experiences as a consumer and citizen more meaningful and positive. I invite you to join me in my “Made in USA Challenge” as your New Year’s Resolution.

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Like any resolution, making the shift to buying all or mostly American made goods can seem overwhelming. I offer the following tips for resolving to buy made in USA in the New Year.

Take an inventory of the products you use most in your own home.

Find out where they are made, then research potential alternatives. ●

Start checking labels in shops you already frequent. Take the extra

ten seconds to see where a product was manufactured. ●

Start asking stores, calling companies and reaching out to brands

via social media to ask where their factories are located and let them know what the answer is important to you as a consumer.

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Look for resources in your local community. “Shopping small” in

local, independently owned shops in your town may reveal hidden gems of locally made goods. As a bonus, the money you spend there will be re-invested in your own community. ●

For hard to find items, use resources on the internet to search and

research American made options. The Made in America Master List is a good place to begin your search. You can also search the blog for product or brand suggestions featured over the past year and a half.

Let friends and family know about your resolution to buy goods

made in USA. Share with others your reasons for buying made in USA, and encourage them to learn more about the issue. Inspire others to take action without judging or criticizing their own consumer habits.

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Thanks for your support and interest in buying American made. Be sure to check out madeinusachallenge.com for a complete resource to everything made in USA, including a master list, giveaways and gift guides. Happy Made in America Holidays!

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American Made Holiday Gift Guide 2013  

The American Made Holiday Gift Guide offers a solution to the challenge of finding American made gifts. The guide provides the conscious con...

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