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    Your Holiday Gift Guide, Military Style!

    It's better to give than to receive, right? But once the holiday season kicks off, the sentiment is hard to execute during the shopping frenzy. But what if just one of your purchases started a chain of do-good this season? It's easy—we’ve found the perfect gifts for your family and friends that also let you support a veteran or military spouse owned small business

    Plus, you’ll at least double your impact with every purchase. Not only will you bolster the businesses, but some entrepreneurs will also pay it forward and fund their favorite charities with their sales. So, your one act of good gives on and on! 

    Take a look at these new-to-you veteran and military spouse companies. Then, read their About Us pages for inspiring back stories and how the companies support causes close to their hearts. We’ll also remind you of a few fan-favorite military-centric companies that continue to support military families year after year.

    Your Holiday Gift Guide, Military Style

    7 Breakout Military Spouse and Veteran Companies

    1) Big Future Toys

    Finding quality toys for kids can be tricky, especially if you’re looking for sustainable and earth-friendly options. Look no longer! Big Future Toys fills this niche. Steven Rho, a Navy veteran, and his wife Kristin created heirloom-quality toys that can be easily passed down from sibling to sibling and even cousin to cousin later on.

    With a back-to-basics vibe, these wooden toys not only supercharge a child’s imagination, but the sales also help farmers secure their livelihoods, plant more trees, and maintain the land for future use. Big Future Toys’ hashtag #FewerBetterToys is pretty cool, too. 

    wooden toys from big future toysImage from Big Future Toys

    2) K9 Salute Dog Treats

    It's not truly the holiday season unless your favorite family member, the dog, gets a present, too. Jessica Harris, a retired Washington Army National Guard combat medic, created K9 Salute Dog Treats. If your dog is picky about treats, K9 Salute offers a variety of flavors, including peanut butter and roasted duck with carrots. Yum!

    Jessica’s devotion to serving K9s doesn’t stop at serving tasty treats. She donates and raises funds for working dogs in the military and police forces and helps veterans afford service dogs.

    K9 Salute dog treatImage from K9 Salute Dog Treats

    3) Authentically American

    Collegiate and patriotic sportswear is always a hot-ticket holiday item. Authentically American’s founder, Dean Wegner, showcases a wide range of military-branded sportswear, including the service academies. But there’s a chance your non-military school also has products in the lineup.

    While shopping, check out the extra fun holiday-inspired items. Not only does your purchase support a veteran-owned company, but your dollars also boost a product line entirely sourced and manufactured in the United States. 

    Authentically American logoImage from Authentically American

    4) Box Ops

    Looking for a stocking stuffer you never knew you needed? Box Ops is your new favorite PCS organization solution. Shea Sines, an Army military spouse, created a company that supplies organizational solutions for all types of moving boxes. The stickers are color-coded and cut in a wrap-around design that lets the label cover two sides of the box for extra security.

    Box Ops has various moving tools to organize and secure your move, including genius DO NOT PACK stickers and door-hanging signs that prevent the all-too-common neatly wrapped trash can contents from riding in your moving truck. 

    Box ops color coded labels for movingImage from Box Ops

     5) Maggie’s Custom Sweet Treats

    During the holidays, you absolutely cannot go wrong with gifts of delicious baked goods, even if you need a special recipe for keto, gluten-free, vegan, or sugar-free desserts. Rebekah Lynn Pierce ships her creations directly to your home or to the lucky recipient of your choice.

    You can choose from cakes, pies, and cookies. Check the website for weekly flavors, but count on the classics like triple-layer red velvet/chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin pie.

    maggies cookies chocolotate chip cookieImage from Maggie's Cupcake Cafe 

    6) Branche Basu Boutique

    Kimberly Branche, an Army veteran and cancer survivor, started her business, Branche Basu Boutique, because she saw the need for natural bath and body care products for men and women.

    She crafts the skincare from all-natural and sustainable ingredients like essential oils and clean fragrances. The website features soap, body wash and scrub, facial care, home fragrances, and candles to brighten holiday gatherings. 

    handmade soaps and body care items from branche basu boutiqueImage from Branche Basu Boutique

    7) Cater to Mom

    Calling all new moms! This holiday season, buy yourself the gift of self-care. The months after birth are challenging, but a subscription gift box loaded with six to eight full-sized postpartum care essentials will ease your recovery.

    Founder Marsha Stephanson wanted new moms to have support during the often overlooked weeks and months after birth, so each box is themed around a challenge new moms face, like recovery, breastfeeding, relieving stress, postpartum depression, and postpartum sleep and insomnia. This one-of-a-kind veteran owned subscription service is featured in national outlets, including the Bump, Good Housekeeping, and BuzzFeed. 

    care basket for new mothers from Cater to Mom companyImage from Cater to Mom

    Revisit a Veteran or Military Spouse Store Favorite

    Although the above seven veteran and military spouse-owned companies are well on their way to becoming household names, you might need more inspiration to find the perfect gift. Try searching a few of the pioneer military family-owned companies like:

    If you’d like to buy cool gifts and support military families at the same time, check out the National Military Family Association. Their swag helps fund its Operation Purple camps, which are free for military kids. 

    It's time to start shopping! Once the word gets out about these fabulous products and services, you won’t have long to fulfill your holiday gift checklist. 

    Need more help prepping for the holidays? Use our month-by-month checklist below. 

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    Dawn M. Smith


    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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