No imported pajamas for me!

From the series: Life on Dog Hill

Has anyone besides me found religion by accepting the ABC challenge to spend at least $64 this holiday season on products made in the good ‘ole USA?

My husband and I agreed to take the challenge after ABC first aired their challenge several weeks ago. “Easy!” we thought. With seven children between the ages of nine and 30, we could easily spend $64 for U.S. products on each of them. “We’re in!”

Uh-hum… then I started shopping. And THAT’s when I found religion.

  • Pajamas. Made in China.
  • Remote control helicopters. Made in China.
  • Underwear. Made in China.
  • Space heaters. Made in China.
  • Headphones. Made in China.
  • Fleece softie wrap. Made in China.
  • Hot Wheels. Made in China.


Just about everything on our Christmas list was manufactured in China. I was astounded.

With eyes now open to the seriousness of our dependency on the Asian giant, I vowed to keep my commitment to buy American. I spent hours searching the internet, looking for the right gifts. I even got creative when I decided to sew the boys pajamas myself. Then I went to two different fabric stores only to learn that ALL the fabric was imported — most of it from CHINA!

It’s been an interesting three weeks to say the least, but with Christmas just a few days away, our gift inventory is showing victory. Of the 37 gifts for our nine-member family, 11 were made in the USA and 11 were made in China. Nine countries (Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, UK and Vietnam) account for the remaining gifts.

But here’s the good news! When I looked at dollars spent — and that’s what really counts — we spent an average of $73.33 on products made in the USA for each family member compared to $38.88 for products made in China.

More good news! This is just the beginning. As a family, we are committed to choosing American-made alternatives to Chinese imports whenever possible.

As for the pajama dilemma? I bought leftover fabric from the local PTA Thrift Shop. And, while the fabric did come from China, the money I spent to purchase it went to support local schools.

Consider taking the challenge to buy products made in the USA whenever possible and help bring jobs back home. And if you must buy imports, try second-hand stores or Craigslist. Not only will you get great bargains, you’ll keep your dollars in your own community.

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