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

Simplify Gift giving  want need wear read

Every. Single. Year. I get caught up in the holiday shopping frenzy. Every. Single. Year. This year, I’ve got a plan to simplify gift giving, plan ahead, and buy American. 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?” 

In previous years, I found myself collecting flyers, searching online for the best deals…. thinking of all the things that my kiddos MUST HAVE.  I get caught up in the thrill of low prices, and the excitement of stretching my Christmas money so that my kids can HAVE MORE GIFTS under the tree. But the longer my shopping list gets, the more  I realize that my kids don’t need, or even want,  most of the things I have on it. And I know that like Christmases past, most of the gifts they do get will be played with for one, maybe two days, and then stuffed in a closet. Not this year. Here’s my plan:

Want – Need – Wear – Read

A few years ago I heard a saying that brings me back to my center, before the holiday shopping gets out of control.  Instead of buying everything that I think that my kids MUST HAVE (which usually includes cheap, or useless items), 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 makes 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 do 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 video games, phones, tablets- all of  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!)


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!


Authenticity 50 luxury bedding | 100% made in USA





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.


  • Soulmate Socks: These mismatched socks that go together are a fun, colorful, and unique . They make a gift that kids toddler to teen (and adults too!) will love.

Want, Need, Wear, Read: Soulmate Socks #gifts #holidaygifts #socks



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 books 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:



Don’t forget to treat yourself. You probably NEED a new pair of sheets. And you WANT to buy American. This article’s sponsor, Authenticity 50the only company that designs and manufactures luxury bedding 100% in the USA. When husband and wife team Jimmy and Stephanie MacDonald could not find any high quality luxury bedding items American made, they searched the USA for textile manufacturing facilities and started their own line of luxury sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers. Since 2015, Authenticity 50 has been providing luxury bedding to consumers factory direct.

American Made Luxury Sheets From Authenticity 50

Want, need, wear, read | Simplify gift giving | Gift ideas

Have you visited our Made in USA Shopping District? Bookmark it and start your shopping there when you want to find the best of American-made with your favorite retailers.

Follow USA Love List‘s board Gifts for Kids: Made in USA on Pinterest.
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Do you have American Made ideas for Want, Need, Wear, Read gifts? Feel free to add them in the comments below.


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!
    Latest Post: Pile on the stacking rings for a luxe look!My Profile

  2. this was a tradition we started several years ago, and the kids love it! Even though they get presents for 8 nights (we celebrate Hanukkah) they still only get 4 “things”. the rest are fun things that they normally don’t get, like a can of whipped cream, regular candy…etc.
    Latest Post: How do Mini Hoop Tunnels Work?My Profile

  3. I like the idea. I wish we could limit ourselves to only 4 gifts per child.
    Latest Post: Taking Time To Appreciate NatureMy Profile

  4. Dorothy Boucher says:

    I love this, I think its a great way to ease your mind from over spending during the holiday season.
    happy to connect

  5. I love this and plan to share it with friends and family. It is such an easy way to make the holidays and gift giving more meaningful. Thanks!
    Latest Post: Your first blog post!My Profile

  6. Joan, we love to feature American made fashion all over our site. Try the Search function in the upper right hand corner. Then hit our Made in USA shopping district using the SHOP tab in the tip nav. You’ll find pre-configured searches from popular retailers. My favorite source for the biggest selection of fashionable AMerican made is Nordstrom.
    Latest Post: Jill’s Picks: Affordable American Made: 30 Gifts for $30 or LessMy Profile

  7. Curious if people give gifts from Santa still, when doing the want, need, wear, read thing.

  8. Ryan Goodwin says:

    I feel like you are controlling what kids want. In this world today, you need to let your kids make their own decisions, you can give them ideas, but you can’t force those ideas on them.

  9. christina says:

    Kumquat is a children’s clothing line that is made in the US. Check out http://www.kumquatbaby.com
    Very unique styles and durable fabrics!

  10. We are a Mom Start-up called The Green Flamingo, Co. We feature hand-drawn, unique, Made in the USA, 100% cotton kid’s tee’s and onesies!
    Our designs focus on our kiddos being able to wear what interests them no matter if they are “meant” for the opposite gender. Check us out!

  11. Tamra Phelps says:

    The most difficult person I buy for is my Dad. What on Earth does he want or need??? Lol, I have no idea & he won’t say.

  12. Tamra Phelps says:

    I’m the Aunt not the parent, but I still tend to go overboard, lol. I still have one nephew who BELIEVES!! So, I always want him to get what he asks Santa for. I hope your plan works!

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