Chistmas shopping wishes

We are fast approaching the frantic season of shopping.  I have most of my shopping done and am finishing the few things I am making for gifts this year as well.  But I have run into a problem when seeking to purchase items from a so-called trusted company.  Let me explain…

I try very hard to buy Made in the USA products when I make a purchase.  In addition I avoid shopping at any chain store, although I will resort to making purchases through Amazon.

So this week, I received an L.L. Bean catalog.  I knew there were a couple of things I would like to buy.  A lined flannel shirt and a set of flannel sheets.  L.L. Bean is well-known as a company that sells USA made products. The problem is that I had a hard time finding anything made here in the USA in their catalog.  The sheets were imported from Portugal, the shirt was simply listed as imported with no country designated.

I also want the gifts I buy to be healthy to use or wear.  Many of the warmer items like coats, boots and gloves are listed as having thinsulate in them.  I avoid using thinsulate because it is a thermoplastic made by combining ethylene and/or propylene gases. To learn more click here.  If you want to avoid using plastics because of the dangers to the environment during production of it, or to your health, then you will also want to avoid thinsulate.  Another problem with thinsulate is that it will burn easily and comes with warnings to avoid being too close to heat sources or a hot iron.  When a plastic burns it gives off plenty of chemicals, which is another reason to avoid it.

Why the big concern with where an item is made?  Well, if I want to see my country get out of debt, and the economy restored to the point where most people who want a job can find a job then I need to buy what is made in my country.  I don’t want any one to be out of work and unable to support themselves or their family, but it’s not my job to create jobs in China or even Portugal.

Why the big concern with what a product is made of?  First I want to protect the health of those I love, but I also don’t want to contribute to the health issues of the workers producing items I buy.

Needless to say, the catalog is now in the recycling bin with nothing purchased from there this  holiday season.

What do you look for when making a purchase whether for yourself or for a gift? Do you think about how the item was made or if it causes harm to those who produce it or later use it?

Note: all images today are from pixabay a free public domain site

Those that have the ability to be grateful are the ones who have the ability to achieve greatness.  ~~ Steve Maraboli



  1. I have started to think about what Christmas gifts to give this year. So far, I have decided that for the older children and teenagers, I will be giving gifts of music via their iTunes cards. For friends and neighbours, I will be making gifts of homemade food, such as homebaked cookies, pesto, turkish delight. If asked, I am putting on my wish list a term of French lessons for next year ( following on from my birthday present from my husband beginner’s French lessons which i am loving this term!). I am currently considering what presents to buy/ make for my husband and daughter.


    • What wonderful ideas. I am giving the little ones gifts of activities. That includes games, craft ideas and the like. I am especially glad to see the return of wooden toys and crafts again! The adult children are getting food gifts, not much as they already received their gifts when I gifted one with the kitchen redo, and the other with helping with things for his new home instead of buying gifts at Christmas time.

      Are you studying French for an upcoming vacation or just because it was an interest you wanted to follow up on?


      • Wooden toys are so special. I wish now that I had bought wooden toys instead of plastic when my daughter was younger.
        I have always wanted to learn French, it is a beautiful language. Some of my ancestors were French also, which I have recently discovered whilst tracing the family tree.
        Learning French was one of the things that I never had time for in my “other life”. Now that I have changed my lifestyle, this is one of the things that am now focussing on. I read yesterday that learning a language also delays the onset of Alzheimers, so I like to keep those neurons in my brain healthily firing away ;-). Never too old to learn something new.
        I used to travel a lot in Western Europe, including France,when I was young and single, and living in the UK for a few years. Now I have my family, I would like travel to France in a year or so, and stay for a month.


        • My boys had plenty of plastic toys too as they were young when wooden toys had been passed over for plastics, fortunately I can now find good quality wooden toys for their children.

          I think it’s wonderful that you are studying French, maybe I should consider a language if it helps delay onset of Alzheimers as I have relative who suffered from both that and Parkinson disease. If you get your French holiday please post photos and tell us about your stay.


  2. For me it’s simple……I don’t buy gifts! 🙂 no seriously, I buy very little, usually for my mom and ship it to her, but my siblings and I aren’t close so no gifts there. I might send them a card, but probably won’t. For my mom, its usually flowers, at 83 she never gets flowers anymore so she loves it when I send them to her. I have no kids, so again no gifts.


    • Jackie, I remember you saying you didn’t buy gifts. I think buying flowers for your mom is sweet. Once you get older, whether it’s 83, 50 or younger you begin to want gifts that won’t clutter up a home so flowers, good food and things that are consumable are perfect.


  3. Now that my girls are older, I buy sports toys, outdoor equipment, books or clothes. We stick to the “something you want, something you need, something o wear, something to read” saying with the kids, to keep it simple. Other family members (we draw names) get books or something they’ve said hey want.

    I didn’t know about thinsulate – I guess I’d never thought about it before.


    • I like that something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. I heard that a couple of weeks ago and wrote it down to consider it next year. Sports toys are always great. The grand kids are still young, but I try to get them sports toys for their birthdays. This year the older two received bouncy balls (the ones you sit and jump on) from me.

      I like seeing large families who draw names, it makes so much sense. Here we keep gift giving small and we only exchange with immediate family. As I would buy for the grand kids it means I only then buy for my grown sons and their wives. Not too bad.

      Isn’t it strange how we don’t question things. When thinsulate came out, it was reported to be the next great thing, it was only by happenstance that I came across a write up on the way it’s made.


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