Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

We get it: Sometimes teenagers seem like aliens. And this can certainly make shopping for them difficult. After all, how can you buy something for someone when you're not even sure where their head is at half the time?

Well, at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) we want to make your holiday shopping easier this year. That's why we're trying hard to provide you with the resources necessary to keep your purchases as Made in America as possible.

Ergo, here are a few gift suggestions we've compiled that would be appropriate for your teenager, regardless of what he or she is thinking ...

Headphones - whether they're listening to Wagner, the Decembrists, or This American Life, they need good headphones to do it. As you'll notice from the note on the top of St. Louis-based Direct Sound's website, the company produces "American made headphones." There are a variety to choose from and you can order through the site or find a dealer local to you.

Outdoor fun - Raising a little snowbird? Icelantic makes skis by hand in Denver, Colorado. Skiing's not really your teen's thing? Aspen-based High Society offers an American-made snowboard.

Fun T-Shirts - No matter how old your kids get, it's almost certain that comfy T-shirts will remain a staple of their wardrobe. Des Moines-based Locally Grown makes fun T-shirts (see photo) here in the states using environmentally friendly ink.

Journals - While it seems teenagers now document their entire lives on social media, your child may appreciate the opportunity to keep some of his or her thoughts in "analog format." Pennsylvania-based Vintage Vinyl Journals makes unique journals using album art. There is a very large variety of bands and singers to choose from, and you may need to explain to your offspring what a vinyl album is, but hey -- family bonding!

And speaking of family bonding - As was mentioned before, it seems these days teenagers spent most of their time on computers, cell phones, tablets, or other kinds of interactive electronics (we're looking at you, gaming consoles!). So why not give them something to both break up that monotony and allow them to spend time with you? The USA Project Playing Cards are made in Orlando and feature the work of a different artist for each card. All of Kansas City, Missouri-based Springbok puzzles are made in the United States. On the site you'll find almost a countless number of puzzles to choose from at a variety of difficulty levels.

We hope this list is helpful for you. And of course, refer back to our 51 Made in the U.S.A. Gift Ideas post from last week, as well as our Holiday page which is being updated frequently.