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!)
- The Best Gifts for Kids
- Trouble the Dog
- Magic Cabin has a Made in USA section
- American Made Baby Toys, Toddler Toys, and Preschool Toys
- Outdoor Toys and Games
- Gifts That Inspire Creativity and Learning
- Princess themed gifts
- LEGO themed gifts
- Family Gift Ideas
- Gift for Kids, Under $10
- Personalized Gifts for Kids
- Stocking Stuffers for Kids
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!
SWAG FOR THEIR ROOM
- Guided Products Recycled Notebooks
- Wee Can Too
- General Pencil Co.
- Backpacks, made in USA
- School Supplies Source List
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.
- American Adorn
- American Made Clothing for Kids Baby to Teen
- Clothing Gifts for Kids, Made in the USA
- Holiday Clothing for Kids (includes holiday PJs)
- Fashion Gifts for Teen Girls
- Made in USA Kid's Pajamas
- Cold Weather Accessories
- Boots for Tween/Teen Boys
- Boots for Tween/Teen Girls
- Made in USA clothing at Nordstrom
BEAUTY PRODUCTS/PERSONAL CARE
- Piggy Paint
- Non Toxic Nail Polish
- Source List of Natural Beauty Products, Made in USA
- Non Toxic Hair Care Products
- 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
- Divergent Series
- Heroes of Olympus Series
- A gift card to a local book store
A MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION
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 50, the 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.
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.
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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.