Every. Single. Year. I get caught up in the holiday shopping frenzy. Every. Single. Year. This year, I have a plan to simplify gift giving, plan ahead, and buy American made. I have to step back and ask myself, “Is it worth it to buy a lot of cheap gifts, or should I invest in a few high quality and meaningful gifts?”
Want – Need – Wear – Read
In previous years, I found myself collecting flyers and searching online for the best deals…. thinking of all the things that my kiddos MUST HAVE. I get caught up in the thrill of the 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 actually need, or even want, most of the things I have on it. I know that like Christmases past, most of the gifts that they receive will be played with for one, maybe two days, and then stuffed in a closet.
Not this year. Here's my plan.
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.
MORE MADE IN USA TOY OPTIONS
- Wooden Toys Made in USA for Kids of All Age
- Made in USA Sleds
- Made In USA Toys: Our Top Picks
- Jigsaw Puzzles Source List
- Building Toys for Kids of All Ages (Baby to adult)
- The Best Gifts for Kids
- Step2 outdoor play and pretend play toys for baby to kindergarteners.
- Trouble the Dog stuffed animal.
- K'NEX building toys
- 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 here
- Made in USA Gibson Guitars
- Hobbies for Tweens and Teens
- Hiking Gear and Backpacking Gear
- Best Gifts for Teen Girls
- Cool Christmas Gifts for Tweens and Teens
- USA Made Snowboards or Splitboards
- Winter Skis Made in The USA
- American Made Designer Purses and Handbags
- Best Lawn Games for Outdoor Fun
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.
- Bedding Made in USA: Ultimate Source Guide
- RoomMates wall decals (Please Note: Not all decals are American made, but the products made in USA are labeled)
- Best Bean Bag Chairs Made in the USA
- American Made Baby Nursery Furniture and Nursery Accessories
- 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.
- Wallets Made in USA
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.
- City Threads manufactures comfortable clothing for boys and girls in sizes baby to youth. Take 15% off your City Threads order now with discount with code USALOVE. No expiration, one-time use per customer.
- Two Crows for Joy is an online retailer of American made organic baby clothing and clothing for boys and girls, sizes 2t- 8.
- 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 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..
For more made in USA clothing for kids options, check out:
- American Made Clothing for Kids
- 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
- Made in USA Slippers & Moccasins
- Boots for Tween/Teen Boys
- Boots for Tween/Teen Girls
- Cowboy Boots for Tween/Teens
- Hoodies for teens
- T-shirts for teens
- Graphic T-shirts for kids
- Flannel Shirts
- More clothing options for kids and teens
BEAUTY PRODUCTS/PERSONAL CARE
- Ruby-Blue Bunny™ organic, clean ingredient personal care products for baby and children Take 15% off all orders at RubyBlueBunny.com with discount code USALOVE. No expiration date.
- Piggy Paint nail polish safe for baby and up.
- Good For You Girls natural lotions, deodorants and more for tweens and teens
- 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
- On Trend Gifts For the Fashionista, All American Made
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
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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.
Interesting ideas – you will need to take note!
I like the jewelry.
I’m the Aunt not the parent, but I still tend to go overboard, lol. I still have one nephew who BELIEVES!! So, I always want him to get what he asks Santa for. I hope your plan works!
The most difficult person I buy for is my Dad. What on Earth does he want or need??? Lol, I have no idea & he won’t say.
I was told by someone I respect, instead of giving a gift that he can hold in his hand give him an experience.
I feel like you are controlling what kids want. In this world today, you need to let your kids make their own decisions, you can give them ideas, but you can’t force those ideas on them.
Curious if people give gifts from Santa still, when doing the want, need, wear, read thing.
Hi Holly, Santa brings the want gift to my kiddos 🙂
Hi Holly, in our house, Santa’s theme is GO. He brings awesome family experiences, like an outing to see a broadway show or a trip to a water park.
Joan, we love to feature American made fashion all over our site. Try the Search function in the upper right hand corner. Then hit our Made in USA shopping district using the SHOP tab in the tip nav. You’ll find pre-configured searches from popular retailers. My favorite source for the biggest selection of fashionable AMerican made is Nordstrom.
I love this and plan to share it with friends and family. It is such an easy way to make the holidays and gift giving more meaningful. Thanks!
I love this, I think its a great way to ease your mind from over spending during the holiday season.
happy to connect
I like the idea. I wish we could limit ourselves to only 4 gifts per child.
this was a tradition we started several years ago, and the kids love it! Even though they get presents for 8 nights (we celebrate Hanukkah) they still only get 4 “things”. the rest are fun things that they normally don’t get, like a can of whipped cream, regular candy…etc.
We always loved the Magic Tree House series when my kids were little! My son even went as “Jack” for Book Character Day in 1st grade. I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday and saw there’s a brand new story out… I think they are up to about #47 now!