Small Business Saturday: The MADE IN AMERICA Version.
If you're like me, you have already spent countless hours racking your brain for *just* the right Christmas gifts for family and friends. When it comes to my kiddos and our cousins, I usually know just where to turn... let's face it, they've already circled EVERY. SINGLE. TOY. in the Amazon holiday toy catalog. But what about for the family-friends who always send the nicest mail order package? Or the people that are just difficult to buy for? What about clients or relatives who are out of state? It seems like a monumental task to send something that is meaningful and something that you know the recipient will love... especially when the dollar doesn't exactly stretch as far as it did even a year or two ago.
It is in this spirit that I've created a (short) list of a few of my gifting favorites... these are from a wide variety of family or veteran owned businesses (some large and some some small), but ALL have amazing stories and purpose with made-in-America products. Bonus: many of these companies give back to charities and foundations we all love to support.
Please note that I will not receive kick-backs on ANY of these items... this is simply a collection of people, passions, and callings who embody the spirit of America. They all have amazing products that I know anyone on your gift list will enjoy.
RUN, don't walk, to order one (or several) of these wreaths and centerpieces. Lynch Creek Farm is a family-owned business in Washington State. We first received one of their wreaths from our dear friends several years ago, and it is my *favorite* package to receive every year (no pressure "dear friend... you know who you are). These wreaths are absolutely breathtaking - they are huge (26" or greater), abundant in greenery, insanely fresh, and they smell like Christmas. (This last part is especially wonderful for this Florida girl who craves a little bit of winter this time of year.) Truly, I can't say enough wonderful things about their products... and we send these to family as gifts. The prices are remarkably reasonable, too (especially considering the price of sending flowers these days). Sustainably sourced greenery - they don't cut down trees. DEFINITELY the top of my list for sending gifts out of state. https://lynchcreekwreaths.com/
Fresh maple syrup from The Gateway Farm is heaven-sent, but we'll get to that more in a second. Do yourself a favor and take a moment to look at this sweet family's website and Instagram (@thegatewayfarm). This is a husband-and-wife team who work their farm with their four amazingly adorable children. Abby brings such a sweet sense of gratitude, hard work, and passion to everything that they do... and truth be told, I stumbled upon their page at a time when thought maple syrup was the devil. I had made a conscious decision to switch from most "refined" sugars to pure honey and/or maple because of how adversely our 5 year old reacts to sugar. When the package arrived from The Gateway Farm, it was AMAZING. There was a family photo with a story about the farm and a handwritten thank-you note from Abby... I don't think I had ever felt so good about a purchase before that moment. It was the *sweetest* (literally). Now back to the syrup: I currently order it by the half gallon and may or may not sneak little teaspoons of it at midnight. I just used it to make candied pecans and a sweet maple cream for our Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole and there was not a drop left to be had. If ever you can taste the love and passion that goes into making something, this is it. It's definitely worth a purchase - not only for gifting, but for your own fridge, too. www.thegatewayfarm.com
Mind. Blown. Have you heard of R. Riveter?? If the name sounds familiar, it's in homage to the famous WWII era "Rosie the Riveter" ad empowering woman to join the workforce during the war. "R. Riveter" fills ALL the "purpose" buckets. Their bags are not only gorgeous and incredibly durable... they're all hand-sewn in the United States by spouses of active-duty military. That's right - R. Riveter was founded to provide mobile, flexible income to military spouses who are required to move every 2-3 years in support of their service member spouses. If that's not great enough, they give back a portion of proceeds to SEVERAL military/service member foundations. I just re-committed to buying American-made for my future bag purchases. The site has a great "2022 Holiday Gift" section with gifts for every person on your list (and several "cyber" weekend deals, too). www.rriveter.com
"Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
Whiskey experts, please don't come after me for this one. I am *not* a whiskey drinker. That said, I'm trusting insanely good reviews that are out on this product and sharing it because alcohol always makes a great gift this time of year... and this is a bottle you can really get behind and feel great about giving. The packaging is amazing, and their website has a complete list of states and retailers where it is sold. Freedom Whiskey Co. was founded by two Marine veterans who met during their time in Afghanistan. Their "story" is well worth a read, and it certainly gives a little encouragement to pause and reflect on how grateful we all are for those who serve and protect us while we are safe at home in our beds. What I love most: the company donates to several military-related charities including the Fisher House Foundation (with whom I used to serve), "Team Red, White, and Blue", the American Legion, and others. If you're bringing a host/hostess gift to a holiday party, perhaps consider this instead of a bottle of wine. https://haveashotoffreedom.com/
For the K-9 lover in all of us, here's one that will fill your heart. "K9 Salute" was founded in 2016 by Jessica Harris, a retired Combat Medic from the Washington Army National Guard, as a way to honor and remember our nation's K-9 heroes. The treats are all-natural and well-priced, and a portion of proceeds goes to helping K-9 heroes in many different capacities. www.k9salute.com
AND... FOR THE KIDDOS.
I'm guessing these aren't exactly first on the kiddos' wish-lists from santa... but I also know that as parents, there are only *so* many toys that we can handle... we yearn for ideas that will help shape our kids and help them appreciate the true meaning of Christmas as they ravage through the presents under the tree at a pace at which we only *wished* they would deploy when it's time to leave for school in the morning. That said... here are my "meaningful" gifts for kiddos. Note: Yes, I included "Little Liberty." Please forgive me in advance. Also Note: the other two may not be "made in America" (I couldn't discern this from their websites), but they are based in American values and Christian traditions from American/family owned companies... so I'm taking some liberties here (no pun intended).
*Literally Everything* from this site is a good bet. I have heard first-hand from so many of you that there is a strong desire for more faith-based and patriotic-based content out there for kids. We as parents want to feel empowered to raise our children with the same morals, values, faith in God, and love of country that we have been blessed to know. "Good and True Media" is a GREAT place to start. They have a Black Friday special right now - "build a bundle" of books (Christian/values-based content) at 3-for-$25. They also are also the home of "The Bible Crate" - a monthly subscription box that teaches the Bible to kiddos! This one is on my Christmas list this year. :) https://goodandtruemedia.com/
I may be biased, but it's never a bad idea to add a little patriotism and gratitude to your little one's Christmas stockings. This book is printed in the U.S.A., published in the U.S.A., and is illustrated by an AMAZING Christian who poured her heart and sole into bringing the characters to life. I'm so very grateful for everyone who has supported us in this endeavor, I pray that this book is bringing joy, patriotism, and gratitude into your home. https://amzn.to/3OKBAIP
While I'm not certain if this is manufactured in the U.S., I am certain that teaching fiscal responsibility and hard-work to our children is ABSOLUTELY American. For those of you not familiar, Dave Ramsey is an evangelical Christian, best-selling author, and renowned personal finance expert. His "Financial Peace Jr." kit is aimed at children between the ages of 5-7 and is a great starting point for teaching work ethic, the value of saving/spending/giving. The kits are on sale now (and there are options for sibling additions, too.) Our five-year-old just earned his first toy by doing chores... he saved for it, knew exactly how many "dollars" he needed, and was *so very proud* when I took him to the store to purchase the toy he had his heart set on. Sure, we could have thrown it in the cart at Target last week... but having him take pride in helping mom with chores, counting the singles in his piggy bank, and making the trip back to Target with him so he could see his hard work pay off was absolutely a rewarding moment as a parent. I just ordered this kit and can't wait to make this an every-day goal. Dave Ramsey's Site
If you have any great ideas that I've missed, please send me a note to email@example.com.
If you're an American-made small business and you'd like me to feature you in an upcoming post, please reach out!