15 Gift Ideas That Support Local Businesses


I’m tired of the same old materialistic rush to buy the biggest and most expensive Christmas and Kwanzaa gifts for my family and friends. I want my gifts to have more meaning, more heart, more personality.

Plus, I’m broke.

So, this year I am challenging myself (and you) to give holiday gifts only from local businesses, or homemade gifts. And because I know that I ‘m kidding myself with that homemade thing, let’s focus on local buying.

I’m not going to tell you the names of the Twin Cities merchants that I favor (lest I reveal my presents to my friends and family), but feel free to leave the name of your favorite stores below.

Here are some creative gift ideas that can be found at your local businesses and artisans:

  1. Handmade home accessories (vases, pottery, lamps, furniture, etc.)
  2. Original paintings, sculptures or photography
  3. Theater or concert tickets from regional or community companies
  4. Gift baskets made from goods gathered at locally owned grocers or co-ops
    • Advanced: Create a recipe using only locally grown goods
  5. Books from locally owned sellers
    • Advanced: Give books only from regional authors and/or independent, regional publishers
  6. Handmade jewelry
  7. Weekend getaway at a local bed & breakfast or boutique hotel
  8. Flowers or plants native to the region
    • Advanced: A gardener’s gift basket with native plant seeds and supplies
  9. Beer, wine or spirits from regional microbreweries, wineries or distilleries
    • Advanced: Tickets for a local wine or beer tasting, or tour of a vineyard or brewery
    • Advanced: A wine/beer of the month club sent directly to me!
  10. Season passes for state or regional parks
  11. CDs/downloads from local artists
  12. Concert tickets to local band events
    • Advanced: Gift certificates or season tickets for a local music venue
  13. Gift certificate for continuing education or community ed classes, such as cooking classes, architecture tours or literary events
  14. Passes to local museums, zoos or botanical gardens
  15. Gift certificates for locally owned restaurants
    • Advanced: Create your own restaurant-of-the-month club
    • Advanced: Plan a pub crawl of area bars that specialize in serving local beer or wine (and invite me!)

Did I leave off your favorite gift idea?

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3 thoughts on “15 Gift Ideas That Support Local Businesses

  1. I’d be happy to translate this blog, if I were fluent in any other languages. Aside from a little French, English is the only language I can communicate in (usually!)

    If anyone knows of good online translators, let us know. thanks!

  2. Could you kindly translate your blog into German because I’m not very comfortable reading it in English? I’m getting tired of using Google Translate all the time, there is a little WordPress plugin called like global translator which will translate all your posts by default- this would make reading articleson your great blog even more cosy. Cheers mate, Gourmet Guide!

  3. Great article, and many thanks for taking the time to publish it; really opened my eyes for some new perspectives that I hadn’t thought of before.

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