Hanukkah is early this year starting on December 2, 2018, and Christmas decorations were already in the stores before Halloween. Friends are posting pictures of their kids decorating and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. Winter and holiday decorations were up on the streets of San Francisco before Veterans Day.
All of the above are signs that the Holidays are coming!
Are you ready? ‘Ready for what?’ you ask… shopping, presents, guests, food, decorations, etc… All of it!
Suppliers and retailers have been preparing for the holidays for six months and as I have mentioned in past blogs I shop year-round while traveling. I also like to shop locally at farmers markets, festivals, and other events. This year my twin nieces are getting handmade Otomi dolls from Mexico and my best friend is getting fancy soaps and candles I got at a local wine and art festival.
There are still a few gifts I need to find and I prefer to shop online for those instead of fighting a crowd. A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog about shopping at Walmart, Amazon, and Target online looking for items “Made in the USA”. This year while searching for “Made in the USA Toys” I got different results.
Walmart sent me to their America at Work site, which talks about their $250 billion pledge to create new jobs in America. Target gave me a list of toys with no indication of where they were made and Amazon came back with over 50,000 results and many of them had “Made in the USA” in the title.
Frustrated with too many results, I went back to work (instead of shopping online). It was when I was updating the Made in Your State page on our website that I remembered all the great sites I ran into when researching “Made in State” requirements. There were several non-state governed sites that provided information about items made locally. These items are mostly handicrafts, food, drinks, and specialty gifts but they have more character than the gift card or cosmetic set you are thinking about for the random extra people on your list.
Instead of a box of perfume samples that you picked up at the last minute from Walgreens for your mother in law’s second cousin who is visiting from out of state, pick up a gift from your state. One time for an international visitor, I picked up Jelly Belly jelly beans, Ghiradelli chocolate, Francis Coppola wine, and pistachios all made or grown in California.
Can’t think of items made in your state? Want something more than food and drinks? The farmer’s market only sells veggies? Want to avoid the lines? Then check out the following sites to find gifts from your state:
https://www.stategiftsusa.com/ (search for made in your state)
https://www.etsy.com/ (search for made in your state)
https://www.amazon.com/ (search for made in your state)
Lastly, I suggest Googling “Made In Your State”, there are a few states that have actual sites that specialize in products made in your state. For example, New York has a site called “Made in NYC” which highlights fashion, food, furniture, and more made in NYC.
Please bring your shopping home for the holidays. Buy products Made in America.