Want, Need, Wear, Read: Simplify Gift Giving With These American Made Holiday Gift Ideas

Want Need Wear Read

With Black Thursday tomorrow, followed by Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, …is Sunday something?? There must be HUGE sales somewhere on Sunday?!…and Cyber Monday,  the holiday shopping season officially starts.  I find myself collecting flyers and searching online for the best deals, looking for things that my kiddos MUST HAVE.  I get caught up in the excitement of low prices, the excitement of stretching the savings so the kiddos can HAVE MORE GIFTS. The longer the list gets, the more  I realize my kiddos don’t NEED, or even WANT even half of the items I have circled,  or bookmarked. Like Christmases past, these items will be played with for one, maybe two days, and then stuffed in a closet. I have to step back and ask myself, “Is it worth it to by a lot of cheap gifts, or should I invest in a few high quality and meaningful gifts?”

Want – Need – Wear – Read

A few years ago I heard a saying that brings me back to my center before the holiday sales begin, when I feel the urge to collect cheap, unnecessary gift items.  Instead of buying everything that my kids MUST HAVE , I make it a goal to buy them 4 items each.

Something they WANT, something they NEED, something to WEAR, and something to READ.

Following this saying not only simplifies my holiday shopping experience, but it also causes me to put more thought into what each child gets, and can make it easier for me to find American made gifts in each category.  I am not saying that it always saves me money, as I usually spend the same amount as I did before, but I just invest in higher quality items.

Here are some suggestions as to what types of gifts can fit into each category, and where to find them American made.

 Something they WANT

Finding an item that your kiddos really WANT, that is American made can be impossible, especially for the older kids. The top items on most lists are electronic, video games, phones, tablets-  which are not made in the USA.  If my kids are specific and have their hearts set on an item that I can’t find American made- a Barbie doll, a specific Lego set, they will probably get the item they want. However, if they are generic on their lists: Barbie STUFF, Princess STUFF, Lego STUFF, than made in the USA it is!
American made suggestions for items kids of all ages WANT:

Toys (make sure to check our Holiday Gift Guides for more ideas!):
Adorable Kinder Dolls
Trouble the Dog


Moto X

Something they NEED

There are so many gift ideas that can go into this category! This is where the accessories that go with the “want’ gift can be bought American made. Does your child play a sport or have a passion for art or music?  Equipment, supplies and even lessons fit here!

Phone/tablet/lap top protectors
Bodacious Cases

Art supplies:
Wee Can Too
General Pencil Co.

Sporting goods:
Crescent Moon Snowshoes
Maki Longboards

Warstic Wood Bat Co.
GK Elite Sportswear (gymnastics and cheer wear)

Something to WEAR

This is the gift category that is never hard for me to find items for as my kiddos always seem to hit growth spurts right at this time of year! However, there are other options besides clothing like jewelry, beauty and personal care products.

City Threads
Twirly Girl

Abela Designs

Beauty products/personal care:
Piggy Paint

Something to READ

This category can be hard to buy for online, as not all book sites share where a book is printed. We’ve been told that most pooks involving color printing are not made in the USA.  But I know I never need an excuse to visit my local bookstore!  Here are some great ideas for the “something to read” category:

Magic Tree House Series
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Divergent Series
Heroes of Olympus Series

A magazine subscription:
Cricket magazine group

A gift card to the local, family owned bookstore

Do you have any ideas or American made gift suggestions that kids of all ages WANT, NEED, WEAR, or READ? Please share with us!

We’re making it easy to buy American-made gifts this year. Follow and share our 2013 Holiday Gift Guides and check our previous years’ archives from 2012 and 2011 for even more ideas.

Have you visited our Made in USA Shopping District? It is the place to start your shopping when you want to find the best of American-made.


About The Author

Post by Tracey Hanson

Tracey Hanson is the USA Love List Green/Family Living Editor. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest


  1. We always loved the Magic Tree House series when my kids were little! My son even went as “Jack” for Book Character Day in 1st grade. I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday and saw there’s a brand new story out… I think they are up to about #47 now!
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