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 four items each.
Something they want, something they need, something to wear, 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, then made in the USA it is!
American made suggestions for items kids of all ages WANT
Made in USA Toys, Games, Doll Furniture and More: Lehman's
Lehman's offers a large selection selection of children's old-fashioned toys, gifts, books, games and puzzles. Not all, but most of the toys they offer are made right here in the U.S., ensuring quality and preserving jobs, and some of these are Amish toys made with the careful craftsmanship the Amish are known for. Popular made in USA items at Lehman's include Eli & Mattie doll clothing, doll bedding, and doll furniture that is handmade by Amish craftsmen.
If you can't decide or aren't sure what a child would like best, we offer an easy solution. Simply give a Lehman's gift card. Choose one of any denomination and we will ship it to the lucky recipient.
For Kids That Are Obsessed With Slime: Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty
It bounces, it stretches, it pops, and it sculpts…Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty is THE original and best creative play “slime”. For over 20 years Crazy Aarons has been making thinking putty and innovative creative play sets.
Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty is made in Pennsylvania from top quality materials, including non-toxic silicone, so it never dries out. It is available in a variety of colors (and scents too), including limited edition and seasonal offerings that change every year. Thinking Putty is made with the help of exceptional individuals challenged with intellectual, physical, and other disabilities. Take 15% off with discount code USALOVE, with no expiration.
MORE MADE IN USA TOY OPTIONS
- Jigsaw Puzzles Source List
- 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
- Toddler soft play climbers and courses
- Fairy Finery made in USA doll clothes
GIFT IDEAS FOR TEENS AND TWEENS
- We have featured some great tech accessories here and here
- Hobbies for Tweens and Teens
- Hiking Gear and Backpacking Gear
- Best Gifts for Teen Girls
- Cool Christmas Gifts for Tweens and Teens
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. One use per customer.
- Bedding Made in USA: Ultimate Source Guide
- RoomMates wall decals
- Swoop Bags (easy cleanup for Legos & small toys)
- Eco Kids non toxic art supplies
- General Pencil Co.
- Backpacks, made in USA
- School Supplies Source List
- Paint and paint tools
OTHER GIFT IDEAS
- Beehive Handmade manufactures lead free pewter gift items for baby and kids like cup, spoons, photo frames, and tooth fairy tooth boxes. 10% off Beehive Handmade with discount code USALOVE. No expiration.
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.
Made in USA Organic Clothing for Kids: Two Crows for Joy
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 10% on your entire order with code USALOVE. No restrictions, no expiration.
- Brian the Pekingese organic cotton pajamas for baby and kids that contain no flame retardants. Take 20% off AND free shipping of Brian the Pekingese with discount code USALOVE. No expiration. One use per customer.
For more made in USA clothing for kids options, check out:
- American Made Clothing for Kids Baby to Teen
- Made in USA Baby Clothes and Toddler Clothing
- Clothing Gifts for Kids, Made in the USA
- Made in USA Kid's Shoes: A Source List
- 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:
- 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.