Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thursday Thirteen 230: Christmas Made in America

If you watch ABC World News at night, you are familiar with their “Made in America” series, a year-long look at goods made in the USA. Recent focus of the series has been on Christmas shopping and how American consumers can help employ more of their fellow citizens. Here are a few of the statistics shared, as well as a few ideas for you last-minute shoppers.

* The average American spends $700 a year on Christmas presents, a grand total of $465 billion nationally. (Apparently I am far from average, as I have only spent about $100, no kidding.)

* In the 1960s, 9 out of 10 goods were manufactured in the US.

* Today, just under half of all goods sold in the US are made elsewhere, primarily in China.

* China makes billions of dollars off Christmas sales, though they do not celebrate the holiday themselves.

* In 2010, 5.1 billion toys were made in China.

* All told, China manufactures 1.7 million types of goods.

* If each American spent just $64 dollars on gifts made in America, it would create 200, 000 jobs.

* One way to find gifts made in America is to shop locally. This not only helps the US economy, but your local economy as well. What are some of the local companies near you?

* Local companies are especially great for food gifts. A few made in Wisconsin (some in or near Madison) include:

Candinas Chocolatier (These are sooo good!)Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier (Also good)Door County Cherryland’s Best (Omigosh...these are addictive)Baraboo Candy Company (Get your Cow Tails and Cow Pies here!)Door County Coffee and Tea Company
Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge (Um...hello! Fudge!)Klement’s Sausage Co. Inc
Door Peninsula Winery (Well-worth the drive up the peninsula)Wollersheim Winery (Just down the road from me, a very nice selection)

* Classic toys made in the USA: Crayola Crayons, Sock Monkeys and Slinky.

* More examples of toys made in the USA:
Little Tikes
K’NEX (Legos are a timeless classic, but they aren't made in the USA)Chelsea Teddy Bears (Forget the Build-A-Bear, buy American!)Green Toys (These are all made with recycled goods—check 'em out!)
Springbok Jigsaw Puzzles

* Sporting goods often requested for Christmas made in the USA:
Wilson Footballs (What could be more American than this or...)Louisville Slugger
Riedel Skates
Bag Toss

* For a list of where you can find other goods made in America (by type or by state), click here.

(Disclaimer: This post means no disrespect to other world nations or the fine goods they produce.)


Shelley Munro said...

$700??? Really. That seems like so much. I totally agree about buying locally. I always get cranky about the amount of imported fruit & veg when we have in our supermarkets when the local stuff is so much better.

Heather said...

Shelley: I don't think I have ever spent that much, but I imagine if you have kids you might pay that much or more. I do like buying local stuff when I can. It's nice when there are stores that actually advertise local products.

Lady Rose said...

I spend a bit more - but I have a big family (lots of nieces and nephens, my daughter and hubby, and a few friends)

We have a "farm share" - every week during growing season we get a huge bunch of great veggies fresh and local we love it I really like the idea of buying American made items when ever possible

CountryDew said...

I love to shop locally to support those shop owners, even if they sell stuff made elsewhere. I did a lot of my shopping locally this year.

I enjoy supporting the local artists and craftsmen, too. They make unique items. Great TT!

Xakara said...

Love this post! I love the segment on World News and I'm always happy to see the word spread.

We don't do gifts, but I'm not surprised about the $700. With electronics so popular and the surveys and average family of four, I can see how it would add up quickly.

Happy T13,

13 Procrastinations

Alice Audrey said...

Back when the kids toys meant actual toys and not electronic gadgets, K'Nex was a favorite.

$700?! Not in this household.

Heather said...

Rose: There is a farm share program here, which my boss's wife has done the last couple years. There are too many vegetables in her boxes I don't like for me to participate.

Anita: Madison used to have two craft malls, one on either side of town, where local artisans and crafters could rent space to sel their goods. I used to love shopping there for gifts. Sadly, both are now closed.

Heather said...

Xakara: Isn't that a great series? It's great to see the kind of changes their reporting has wrought, such as a change in where goods in the Smithsonian gift shop come from, and getting colleges to stop sending out a catalog that onmly sells foreign goods for dorm rooms. I hope they don't end it with the new year.

Alice: I don't recall any of my nieces or nephews playing with K'NEX. In our family there were Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys and Legos.

colleen said...

I like to shop local but my sons always want things like tools that I can't get here. I wonder where Land's End and LL Bean's clothes are made.

Rekaya Gibson said...

Wow, China is the smart one. So why can't we spend $64 in America!?! Good list. Thanks for sharing and visiting.

The Food Temptress

Heather said...

Colleen: Some things can be difficult to find locally. The majority of products sold by both LL Bean and Lands End are now imported.

Rekaya: People are (slowly) starting to realize that, the lack of manufacturing jobs here is part of what is hurting our economy. It's good to see some companies returning to the US, or new ones taking the place of foreign-bought goods.