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!):
Trouble the Dog
Magic Cabin has a Made in USA section
American Made Baby Toys, Toddler Toys, and Preschool Toys
Fat Brain Toys
Outdoor Toys and Games
Gifts That Inspire Creativity and Learning
Moto X is made in the USA for now
We have featured some great tech accessories here and here
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!
- TECH ACCESSORIES:
Tech Accessories We Love
Swoop Bags (easy cleanup for Legos & small toys)
Colorful Storage Bins
- ART/SCHOOL SUPPLIES:
Guided Products Recycled Notebooks
Wee Can Too
General Pencil Co.
- SPORTING GOODS:
Crescent Moon Snowshoes
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.
American Adorn (25% off with promo code USALOVE, ends 1/31/16)
American Made Clothing for Kids Baby to Teen
Clothing Gifts for Kids, Made in the USA
Made in USA Kid’s Pajamas
Cold Weather Accessories
Boots for Tween/Teen Boys
Boots for Tween/Teen Girls
- BEAUTY PRODUCTS/PERSONAL CARE:
Tween Beauty Tips/Products
Beauty Gifts for Teen Girls
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:
I See Me Personalized Children’s Books
Magic Tree House Series
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Heroes of Olympus Series
- A MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION:
Cricket magazine group
- A GIFT CARD TO A LOCAL BOOK STORE
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.
Follow USA Love List‘s board Clothing/Accessories for Kids: Made in USA on Pinterest.
Follow USA Love List’s board Gifts for Tweens & Teens:Made in USA on Pinterest.
Do you have American Made ideas for Want, Need, Wear, Read gifts? Feel free to add them in the comments below.