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!
TOYS (make sure to check our Holiday Gift Guides for more ideas!)
- Building Toys for Kids of All Ages (Baby to adult)
- 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
- Liz and Roo luxury baby bedding is sewn by hand in Kentucky. Bedding sets, separates and mix and match available. Save 15% on your entire order with code USALOVE.
- American Made Dorm and Home offers high quality bedding and accessories for dorm and home. Save 15% off with code USALOVE.
- Bedding Made in USA: Ultimate Source Guide
- RoomMates wall decals
OTHER GIFT IDEAS
- 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.
- Beehive Handmade manufactures lead free pewter gift items for baby and kids like cup, spoons, photo frames, and tooth fairy tooth boxes.
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.
- Two Crows for Joy is an online retailer of American made organic baby clothing and clothing for boys and girls, sizes 2t- 8. Two Crows for Joy manufactures their own line of children's clothing under the brand name Adooka Organics. Other made in USA clothing brands that Two Crows for Joy offers include Winter Water Factory, Tuff Kookooshka, and Alber Road.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Grip6 belts for kids (also available in men and women sizes for teens) are made in the USA to last a long time and are available in many color choices.
- Brian the Pekingese organic cotton pajamas for baby and kids that contain no flame retardants. 20% off AND free shipping of your entire order with code USALOVE through January 31, 2019.
- 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
- Good for You Girls natural, non-toxic, gluten-free, vegan skin care for the special needs of young skin. Made with love, respect and good ingredients. Save 20% off with code USALOVE through December 31, 2018.
- Moody Sisters skincare and beauty products are natural, organic, non-toxic skincare and makeup handmade in Cashmere, Washington. Save 10% off any full size items with code USALOVE through December 31, 2018. New email subscribers can choose 4 samples and just pay shipping at
- 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
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.