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

  • American Girl and My Generation dolls are on the Christmas list of many kiddos this year. Of course, those dolls aren't made in the USA, but you can find accessories that are. Fairy Finery made in USA doll clothes are heirloom quality and come with doll shoes. There are even matching girl size outfits too!
    Want, Need, Wear, Read: Heirloom quality doll clothes from Fairy Finery #dolls #gifts #usalovelisted

TOYS (make sure to check our Holiday Gift Guides for more ideas!)


  • 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!







  • Sea Bags American made tote bags are made in Maine from repurposed sail cloth. A Sea Bags tote bag would make a fabulous gift for that tween or tween that needs a durable bag to haul around sporting gear, or just a stylish bag for weekends visiting friends or family. A long-time bestseller, the Anchor Tote (pictured below)is a go-to gift for anyone with wanderlust, beloved for its durability, generous compartment, and bold graphic statement. Save 10% off with code USALOVE through December 28, 2018 at seabags.com only. Not valid with “Your Design” Custom bags, Limited Edition Items, Sale Items, Gift Cards, Auction Items, or non-Sea Bags brand third party items. Not valid with any other discount, promotion, or previous order.Want, Wear, Need, Read: Sea Bag tote bags is a gift teen or tweens need to haul sporting gear and for weekend adventures - Sea bags Discount Code: 10% with code USALOVE
  • Beehive Handmade manufactures lead free pewter gift items for baby and kids like cup, spoons, photo frames, and tooth fairy tooth boxes.
    Want Need Wear Read: Beehive Handmade gifts for baby and kids, tooth fairy tooth box #usalovelisted #gifts #madeinUSA

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.


  • Fairy Finery made in USA pretend play clothing is handmade and heirloom quality. Fairy Finery clothing will inspire creativity at play time and might even become your kiddo's favorite all day wear- especially if you have a little princess (don't miss our list of made in USA princess gifts) or knight!
    Want, Need, Wear, Read: Fairy Finery Heirloom quality pretend play clothing #madeinUSA #usalovelisted #pretendplay
  • CastleWare Baby offers a full line of timeless, eco-friendly sleepwear for babies and kids, up to size 6. Castleware Baby clothing items were designed and created with functionality and durability in mind. Save 20% on your entire order with code USALOVE. No restrictions, no expiration. Want Need Wear Read: Made in USA kids pajamas: CastleWare Baby #usalovelisted #pajamas
  • 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:




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.

Do you have American Made ideas for Want, Need, Wear, Read gifts? Feel free to add them in the comments below.

Want Need Wear Read: Simplify gift giving this holiday season with these tips