If you’ve recently tried to buy anything electronic (including a new or used car), then you’ve probably noticed one thing — it’s next to impossible.
The current supply chain issues have been especially problematic for anyone attempting to buy products containing microchips, of which there happens to be a major shortage.
“This holiday season, the most popular electronics seem to be the most likely items impacted by the supply chain,” says Jeff Zhou, cofounder of Fig Loans. “This includes the new consoles, like the PS5, Xbox Series X and the Nintendo Switch OLED. Similarly, many graphics cards like the NVIDIA 3080 and 3090 are in short supply, sending prices and demand for these items skyrocketing.”
But electronics aren’t the only things missing from the market this year. A lot of foreign-made products are also experiencing issues.
“Generally speaking, apparel and goods made in the USA are experiencing fewer supply chain issues than ones made abroad,” says Zhou. “That’s because the biggest impact on the supply chain currently is the continued trouble moving items in and out of major ports. Products made stateside aren’t having these issues, which means you’re likely to get them faster.”
Easy to Find Gifts In Plentiful Supply
So although Santa used to pack tablets and smartphones under the tree with care — he and you both are going to have to get a little more creative this year.
Here’s a list of 12 headache-free gift ideas that you can buy now for the people on your list. We’ve given you some specific brands but there are other versions of these easy to find gifts in your local stores.
Up your Christmas-morning game by shopping the collection of uber-soft flannel pajamas from Vermont Flannel Co. Opt for matching ones with the whole family, or just for you and your bestie. Besides PJs, Vermont Flannel Co. also has great-quality flannel shirts and this nifty DIY Quilt Kit.
Make the winter nights a little cozier for your favorite person by getting them one of these iconic throw blankets from Pendleton. American-made, these blankets are the perfect way to dress up an old couch, remake a bedroom, or even just curl up around the fire.
If you don’t want to worry about your kiddo’s gifts arriving on-time this year, then you might just want to shop the selection at Green Toys. Based in California, this company isn’t just busting out cool toys that are battery-free. They’re also on a mission to make a meaningful impact on the environment. So far, the company has recycled plastic from over 100 million milk jugs and counting.
Homemade Dog Toys
Don’t forget about your favorite pooch this season. Shop some of the cutest dog toys on the internet with this collection of US-based Etsy makers. From fake doggy spritzers to antler chews, this list has something for every four-legged cutie on your list.
A Smart Blender
For the nutrition freak in your life, check out these smart blenders from Vitamix. Unlike many other appliance makers, Vitamix doesn’t seem to be experiencing supply chain issues (being American-made probably helps). So go ahead and put at least one “smart” thing under your tree this year, even if it’s just a really good blender.
The super blenders range from about $400 to $525 but you can cut hundreds from the bill with a $99 Ninja combo blender and food processor. If it’s a smoothie maker on their list, check out the $70 Ninja pro blender with powerful ice-crushing capabilities.
For the pizza-fiends in your life, give them the gift of “a reason to fire up the grill” with this pizza oven grill-insert from Kettle Pizza. Forget brick-oven pizza, this season’s pizza parties are being served hot off the ol’ grill.
Wine & Spirits
Lest you’ve forgotten how great it is to receive a bottle of your favorite wine or liquor, let us remind you. Fancy wine and spirits make some of the best gifts out there. Shop your local liquor store for a nice bottle to gift your favorite wine snob.
Local Arts & Crafts
Support your local crafters, artists and jewelers this holiday season by shopping at the holiday markets and events happening near you. Check your newspaper and online community events pages to find a local fair and get something unique for everyone on your list.
Looking for an easy present that lets your special someone try something new? Then you might just want to try giving them a subscription box. Some of our favorites include The Wordy Traveler, Brother Vellies, Ship Sunshine and Undiscovered Artisan.
Boring? Maybe, but gift cards are still one of the best presents to give someone who already has everything. Give them a gift card to their favorite techy store (so they can finally place an order for that new phone when it’s back in stock) or just go classic with a gift card to their favorite restaurant.
If you’re not sure what to buy for someone on your list, take a minute to browse the selection at Uncommon Goods. If Target and World Market had a baby, it would probably be this store. But unlike some of those other big-box stores, these gifts are all made right here in the USA, and completely unaffected by the supply chain. A special Christmas tree ornament is always a nice gift.
Something to Read
Subscriptions to magazines (remember those?) can be had for as little as $10 a year. Topics range from cooking to automotive to fashion to travel and beyond. Smithsonian magazine is the official journal of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and 12 issues are just $12. The GIFT subscription comes with a Smithsonian membership. Look for a book idea on NPR’s top books of 2021. There are more than 360 categorized by topics.
Looking for even more holiday gift ideas? You might just check out your local dollar stores (seriously).
Contributor Larissa Runkle frequently writes on finance, real estate, and lifestyle topics for The Penny Hoarder.